Kuala Lumpur, Apr 02, 2014: In December, the world’s best badminton players will head to the season-ending BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals, as part of an exciting new multi-platform partnership signed between Dubai and the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Elite players such as Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), Chen Long (China), Jan Jorgensen (Denmark), Saina Nehwal (India) and Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand), will touch down in the dynamic city for the next four years (2014-2017) to compete for the coveted World Superseries Finals titles.
In bringing the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals to the UAE and the wider Middle East region for the first time, Dubai will also have naming rights for the ‘Destination Dubai Rankings’.
These rankings will be generated from points gathered on the 12-stage MetLife BWF World Superseries, in which badminton’s elite players have been competing since January. Three events have already taken place with nine remaining across Asia, Australia and Europe. The top-eight singles players and doubles pairs in the five traditional categories will qualify for the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals, which will be held at the impressive Hamdan Sports Complex in December.
Under the agreement, the BWF’s grassroots programme, Shuttle Time, currently operating in 65 countries worldwide, will be launched in Dubai later this year. The aim is to encourage people from all walks of life – regardless of age, ability or fitness level – to play badminton as a fun and social way of being more active.
Badminton is one of the world’s most popular sports with historically strong connections across Europe and Asia. By partnering with the BWF, Dubai can expect to gain from increased exposure in these important markets.
“We are extremely happy to welcome Dubai and the sense of style which it brings to the MetLife BWF World Superseries,” said BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.
“Our tour is becoming increasingly popular and is televised throughout the year in more than 160 countries with a household reach of more than 300 million. Dubai’s global connectivity, accessibility and track record in hosting world-class sporting events can only help us to grow the sport and make badminton even more accessible to fans.”
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy-Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, spoke in support of the partnership, saying, “Badminton is a sport that is open to everyone and there is already an active scene in Dubai. The partnership with the BWF provides us with an exciting opportunity to build on that interest, to promote the sport to new levels and to develop grassroots initiatives such as Shuttle Time that will help to drive community engagement and physical activity across the city.”
John Ferguson, Chairman of Falcon and Associates, which facilitated the partnership, said, “Badminton is a global sport and one that enjoys huge popularity in markets of strategic importance to Dubai, both in terms of trade and cultural dialogue. The partnership with the BWF is an opportunity to further strengthen the good relationships that already exist and to discover new and mutually beneficial opportunities for the future.” —- BWF