January 22, 2024
This year’s Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open features a strong female Emirati influence with four hugely talented individuals selected to play a pivotal role across various elements of the competition, which takes place at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City on February 3-11.
The all-female tennis tournament returns to the UAE for its second edition following a thrilling and successful maiden event, both on and off-court, in 2023.
The player field includes Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejčíková, all ranked in the WTA top 10, while British star Emma Raducanu, who won the US Open in 2021, has been awarded a wildcard and will also be participating.
An impressive on-court line-up is reflected off-court with the tournament, in collaboration with Mubadala, shining a spotlight on local female talent such as Azza Al Qubaisi, who has been tasked with designing the trophy which will be lifted by the champion at the culmination of the competition on February 11.
A previous winner at the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards and Emirates Woman of the Year Awards, Al Qubaisi has exhibited her work in global locations such as Morocco, Egypt and Belgium.
She said: “A decade ago, I designed the trophy for the men’s champion at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, and it’s a great privilege to now do the same for the winner of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open in 2024.”
Photographer Hind AlRaeesi will also play an important role in the event, capturing images of players and key figures at significant milestones throughout the duration of the tournament.
Highly experienced in the sports industry, AlRaeesi was official photographer for the Saudi Arabia team at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while she has also worked with English Premier League champions, Manchester City. She said: “I was thrilled to take on this project and become part of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, a major sporting event taking place right in the heart of Abu Dhabi.
“Having been passionate about art for many years, the opportunity to showcase my work at such a prestigious tournament is hugely exciting and it’s something I will always treasure.”
Artist Aysha Al Shamsi, meanwhile, worked in collaboration with Mubadala to design the master artwork serving as the main look and feel of the Mubadala Pavilion.
A self-taught artist whose ultimate goal is to make art more accessible and attainable to the masses, Al Shamsi said: “As someone deeply connected to the UAE’s diverse culture, I feel honored to join and add my art to the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open.”
“My artwork honors the capital’s history and blends it with Mubadala’s achievements. I hope my art sparks conversations and brings everyone together to celebrate our culture, heritage, and the excitement of sports at this special event.”
The Emirati quartet is completed by chef Meera Eisa Alnaqbi, whose culinary career has flourished since winning the inaugural Gulfood Youth X competition at Dubai World Trade Centre in 2022.
Alnaqbi, who enjoyed a spell working at Croatia’s Nebo Restaurant & Lounge by Chef Deni Srdoč, a Michelin star restaurant, is driven by a passion for food and creating new recipes. She said: “I’m so proud to be involved in such a high-profile event, particularly one which is taking place in the UAE.
“In the last couple of years, I have had some amazing opportunities, and I’m really looking forward to producing some creative dishes for players and spectators at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open.”
To purchase tickets for the tournament, visit www.mubadalaabudhabiopen.com/tickets/