Dubai // The Arab Snooker Championship has been revived and is to be hosted by the UAE next week.
The tournament has not been held since 2009 but Dubai Snooker Club is set to stage the 11-nation competition from Saturday until September 22.
Sultan Al Joaker, the secretary general of the UAE Billiards & Snooker Association, said the UAE had put its name forward to host the event.
"There had been no Arab Snooker Championships for the past two years and there were no takers for this year's event as well," he said.
"We were worried that this would impede the development of snooker players in Arab countries, so we decided to take the responsibility at the last minute."
A 10-man UAE team will take part in singles, team and Under 21 categories.
Al Joaker said interest had been high for the tournament, but that visa issues had been a problem for some countries. Libya's participation is still reliant on its players getting their travel documents in time.
The Emirates are expected to be strong contenders, with Al Joaker adding: "UAE has always been one of the perennial powers in snooker in the region and we have the Asian Indoor Games gold medal and a bronze in the world championship to our credit.
"However, competition is getting stronger and other countries in the region have started catching up with us.
"We are expecting a very tough challenge from Syria and Egypt at this year's tournament but we are ready to defend our title."
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