x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Disagreement leaves organisers hunting for new venue

The 100 or so participants in the Abu Dhabi Open have been left out in the cold after the organisers and the championship's hosts failed to reach agreement over staging the capital's premier event.

ABU DHABI // All dressed up, but nowhere to play. The 100 or so participants in the Abu Dhabi Open have been left out in the cold after the organisers, the Abu Dhabi Squash Racquets Association (ADSRA), and the championship's hosts, hotel group Sheraton, failed to reach agreement over staging the capital's premier event. The championship was to take place at the Sheraton from June 22 to July 12, but it has been chopped after an ADSRA press release failed to receive the prior approval of the hotel.

"We have certain rules and policy matters and any news of a championship event that involves Sheraton should go through the proper channels," explained the Sheraton hotel's PR director Mouna Ouni. "It is a serious matter when a press release gets published in the newspapers without the prior approval of the hotel management." Sheraton has played host to the championship over the past four years. The ADSRA chairman Mabrouk al Nahdy said: "We were running out of time and there were no response from the Sheraton. So we issued the press release for everyone to know of the event.

"Now we are looking for an alternate venue and once it is confirmed, we will go ahead with the matches. It will be a tight schedule and we plan to complete it by the scheduled date on July 12." apassela@thenational.ae