Dubai International Open to act as final preparation before Bulgaria showpiece.
UAE line up Asia's finest ahead of world snooker championship
A field of 32 players from 11 Asian countries will descend on Dubai Snooker Club on Sunday for the start of the 2012 Dubai International Open.
The tournament will be a final preparation for players competing in the 2012 IBSF World Snooker Championship in Sofia in Bulgaria from November 24 to December 2.
Mohammed Tamjid Abdullah, the vice-president of the UAE Billiards and Snooker Association (UAEBSA), said: "The tournament shall serve as a great opportunity for the participants to gain important match play before the world event in Sofia.
"The response that we received from the invited countries was very positive and encouraging as they realise the importance of such an event.
"The UAE will be represented by experienced pair of Mohamed Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker in the World Championship, but the Dubai International Open shall also help our other young and upcoming players to brace themselves for future challenges."
Sultan Al Joaker, the secretary general of the UAEBSA, said the hosts will field 11 players in the tournament.
He said: "We have players in UAE who have the potential of becoming stars in the future.
"This is going to be a tough event for everyone because of the quality of the players participating. Players from Thailand and Syria are very strong, but we do have hopes of doing well."
The countries taking part in Dubai are Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Thailand, Syria and UAE.
The Thai challenge will be spearheaded by the former world youth champion Noppon Saengkham and Pramual Jantad, a former Asian Under 21 title holder.
Omar Alkojah and Karam Fatima, the winners of gold and silver medals respectively at the 2012 Arab Championships at the same venue last month, will represent Syria.
The members of the UAE squad apart from Shehab and Al Joaker are Abdulrahman Saif, Mohammed Hussain, Saif Al Kitbi, Khalid Kamali, Ahmed Abdulqader, Saeed Al Zaabi, Marwan Ibrahim, Ahmed Shehab and Badr Obaid Almehairi.
The 32 players will be divided into eight groups of four for the first round which will be contested on round robin basis.
The top two from each group will make it to the last 16 stage which will be decided by another round robin competition involving four groups of players.
Follow us @SprtNationalUAE