The world’s top darts players are heading back to Dubai for the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters for the fifth time - which will be played on Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 May at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium as the first leg of the PDC's World Series of Darts 2017.
Gary Anderson, the reigning Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters Champion and Michael van Gerwen, the current PDC World Champion will head the field of eight players, vying to be crowned the champion in the desert . Anderson and van Gerwen will be joined by six world-class rivals in competing in the two-day event at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, which will be shown live across the Middle East on Dubai Sports TV, with further live coverage to be confirmed.
Anderson ended Michael van Gerwen's three-year reign as the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters champion in 2016 with a stunning comeback from 8-4 down to win the final 11-9.
Reigning champion van Gerwen had looked on course to claim an amazing fourth successive title in the unique open-air tournament at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium when he pulled clear of the World Champion. The Dutchman opened the final with a 12-darter and defied finishes of 11 and 12 darts and a 115 checkout from the Scot to move 7-4 up before punishing eight missed doubles from the World Champion to take a four-leg lead. Anderson, though, fired back to level the game with the aid of back-to-back 12-darters and finishes of 68 and 76 in a run of four straight legs to level at eight-all.
The next two were shared to leave the scores tied at nine legs apiece before Anderson punished one miss from van Gerwen to land double 12 and lead for the first time, and a further six misses from the reigning champion proved costly in the next as double five sealed glory for the Scot.
"This is a brilliant win," said Anderson, who changed his darts from 23 grams to 25 grams ahead of the event to combat any air movement. "It was hard but I could see Michael tiring at the end - he took his foot off the gas a little and missed a couple of doubles. "I like playing Michael - he plays my kind of game and players like Michael always make the game look good. I came back and it was a bit nip-and-tuck. This is my second time here and it's a fantastic place, and it sets me up for the rest of the World Series. Last year I came here and I didn't know what to expect, and I learned a lot - I came here with a heavier set of darts this time and they went a lot better."
The General Release of tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters are AED 150 for both nights or AED 250 for season tickets. VIP Hospitality tables, which include all Food and Beverages, are also available starting at AED 7,999 for 10 persons or individual tickets for AED799.
For further information, please call the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters hotline on: +971 56 11 34626. Holiday Packages to Dubai, which include flight, hotel and tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, will be announced shortly.
The most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is also one of the most rapidly-developing and most exciting and vivacious cities in the world.
With almost constant sunshine and a growing reputation as an essential place to do business, Dubai has continued to attract world attention through innovative real estate projects such as the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa, and the globally-famous sail-shaped hotel, the Burj al Arab. The city boasts a number of world-class sports events, conferences and enormous construction and development across various industries.
Strategically located between Europe, Asia and Africa, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. The city is known to be a low-crime and politically-stable one.
The city is unusual in that its population is comprised mainly of expatriates with the largest group of expatriates hailing from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and members of other Asian communities.
Dubai has many shopping malls - the vast Dubai Mall which hosts both an aquarium and ice skating rink, the Mall of the Emirates with the world’s first indoor alpine skiing slope, Ski Dubai. There is also the Ibn Battuta Mall, which is the largest themed mall in the Middle East and features impressive courts including China, Persia, India, Egypt, Tunisia and Andalusia. For the more adventurous shoppers, the traditional souks are a must-see.
Dubai also has a vibrant and diverse nightlife, with many state-of-the-art nightclubs and bars in all corners of the city. It also offers a great range of activities from water sports in the sea to dune bashing in the desert.
Dubai is also host to some of the world’s best sporting events - Dubai’s impressive portfolio of world-class events includes the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, the Dubai Rugby Sevens and the Dubai World Cup, an annual horse racing event with over US $27 million worth of prize money hosted in the outstanding Meydan racing complex, in addition to the globally renowned Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and the FINA World Swimming Championships are the two new events in Dubai’s growing portfolio.
Dirham is the currency of Dubai. Interestingly the Dubai currency symbol is displayed as both AED and Dhs in many places. The Dirham is fixed against the US Dollar at the rate of Dhs. 3.67. Dollars are widely accepted in souks and shops. Other exchange rates (subject to change): UK: 5.99 AUS: 3.29 EURO: 5.05.
The official language is Arabic but English, Urdu and Hindi are widely spoken. Islam is the official religion of the emirate, while there are also minority Hindus, Sikhs and Christians.
The Islamic dress code is not compulsory, unlike in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Most Emirati males prefer to wear a kandura, an ankle-length white shirt woven from wool or cotton, and most Emirati women wear an abaya, a black over-garment covering most parts of the body. This attire is particularly well-suited for the UAE's hot and dry climate. Western-style clothing is, however, dominant because of the large expatriate population, and this practice is beginning to grow in popularity among Emiratis.
Dubai has a very hot arid climate. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy and dry, with an average high around 42 °C (108 °F) and overnight lows around 29 °C (84 °F). Most days are sunny throughout the year. Winters are warm with an average high of 23 °C (73 °F) and overnight lows of 14 °C (57 °F). Precipitation, however, has been increasing in the last few decades with accumulated rain reaching 250 mm (9.84 in) per year. Dubai summers are also known for the high humidity level, which can make it uncomfortable for many.
Today, Dubai is an important tourist destination and port but is also increasingly developing as a hub for service industries such as IT and finance, with the new Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The property boom is largely driven by mega-projects, whether off-shore such as The Palm and The World or inland such as the Dubai Marina, the Burj Dubai Complex, Business Bay and the Dubai Sports City amongst many others.
Dubai water is drinkable but bottled water is available and is reasonably priced.
Dubai Duty Free, which celebrated its 32nd anniversary on 20th December last year, is now ranked as the No.1 single airport retail operation in the world, based on 2015 sales figures of US$1.888 billion according to The Moodie Report, a leading travel retail online and print publication.
Employing over 6,000 people, it has consistently raised the benchmark for airport retailing and it continues to grow. Dubai Duty Free currently operates some 26,000 square metres of retail space at Dubai International Airport and a further 7,000 square metres with the opening of Concourse D in February and 2,500 square metres at Al Maktoum International (AMI) - Dubai South.
To date, Dubai Duty Free has received over 500 awards which bear testimony to the operation’s retail success including being named the “Airport Retailer of the Year in Single Location” and “Best Marketing Campaign of the Year by a Retailer” at the prestigious Frontier Awards in Cannes; ”, US Global Traveler Award “Best Duty Free Shop”, the UK World Branding Awards “Brand of the Year (Retail-Duty Free)”, DFNI Asia Pacific Awards For Travel-Retail Excellence “Middle East Travel Retailer Of The Year”, Superbrands Awards ME and the Business Traveller Middle East Award “Best Airport For Duty Free Shopping in the Middle East”, among others.
In the past year alone, Colm McLoughlin was presented with several awards including the Best Business Leader in Retail held at Burj Al Arab in December. Organised by MENAA Award Organization and attended by over 200 senior regional executives, the awards aimed to celebrate and recognise the achievement of the top leaders in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
While the successful running of the shopfloor is a major focus for Dubai Duty Free, the operation is highly committed to promoting Dubai through a series of high level sporting events including the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which is owned and organized by Dubai Duty Free.
Held at the same venue as the tennis, the operation returns for the fourth edition of Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters on 26 - 27 May, which will bring together the world's top darts players headed by the three-time reigning champion Michael ‘Mighty Mike’ Van Gerwen as they go head to head in the sport’s first World Series event of the year. Following the success of the inaugural tournament in 2013, a first of its kind – the first time in Dubai and the first time the game has been played outdoors in the history of the sport, the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters has been a very positive development in augmenting the exposure of darts in both Dubai and across the Middle East, an important stepping-stone in the sport's worldwide growth.
A new addition to the company’s sports portfolio is the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation and taking place at The K Club in Co. Kildare from the 19-22 May.
Other sports to benefit from Dubai Duty Free’s support include Dubai International Basketball Tournament, Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby 7’s, and UIM XCAT Powerboat World Series to name a few.
By supporting so many events at the highest level and all around the globe, Dubai Duty Free is effectively promoting Dubai’s sporting, leisure and business facilities, which are second to none. And with more and more world-class sportspeople choosing Dubai to showcase their talent, there is set to be much more to come in the future.
Dubai has an advanced public transport system featuring buses, taxis, abras, water buses and the Dubai Metro. Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority is responsible for developing solutions for road, land and marine networks to keep pace with Dubai’s emirate’s economic development.
The Dubai Metro, which began in 2009, offers state-of-the-art travel convenience. The metro network comprises two lines: the Red Line and the Green Line, covering different routes and destinations. Metro fares are very reasonable, starting from just AED1.80 per journey. There is also a special cabin for women and children, as well as a silver and gold class travel.
The Metro is a convenient stop just 5 minutes walk from the Dubai Tennis Stadium. The GGICO (Garhoud) stop is on the red line. Tickets are priced between DHS 1.80 to DHS 5.80, there are several ticketing methods available. The Metro operates from 5:50am-midnight, Sunday to Wednesday, from 5:50am to 01:00am on Thursday, from 1:00pm to 01:00am on Friday, and from 5:50am to 00:00pm on Saturday and is a safe and easy way to get around Dubai. Buses are available outside the stations to take you to your destination. For more info please click on this link.
Bus services are operated on a number of routes linking various residential and industrial areas with the two central business districts. Buses are equipped with point to point timetables that provide the waiting passengers with time schedules of the bus services passing through specific bus stops. There are also some Inter-Emirate buses for travel to other UAE cities. Passengers can also obtain bus timetables, fares and connecting services either from bus stops or by calling the toll free phone 800 9090 or by visitingwww.rta.ae.
Another way of getting around Dubai is by taxi. Prices for taxis are very reasonable (the meter begins at DHS 3.50, which is approximately 57 pence, or 0.95 USD), and are charged by distance. It's usually fairly easy to catch a cab in the city, otherwise you can call (04) 2080808 and have one come and collect you.
The Water Taxi service, the first of its kind in the region, covers public marine transport stations and berths of some hotels, tourist resorts and marine clubs in Dubai including the Dubai Creek area, Al Mamzar Corniche, Jumeirah Open Beach and Dubai Marina through to Jebel Ali, linking coastal hotels with historical areas like Al Fahidi, Al Shindagha and the Old Souk.
The new service is extremely flexible as it is not tied to a specific voyage timetable. Those requiring the service can call RTA’s free number 800 9090 to request for a water-taxi between 10am and 10pm. Tariffs start from AED 50. For further information please go to www.rta.ae.