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Shahar Peer

How is the Israeli tennis player who is all set to play in the UAE, linked to a ‘shamed’ athlete who said that he loves Dubai? And where does Abu Dhabi’s most popular business personality fit in?

February 15, 2010 2:12 by

It has been confirmed that Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer will be playing in the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this year, after the 22-year-old was denied a visa to play in the tournament in 2009.

“There is no question that what happened last year was unfortunate on many fronts,” tournament director Salah Tahlak told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “Our focus today, however, is on looking forward, on continuing to building on our outstanding event.”

Peer, who currently ranks 22 in the world, was the first Israeli to participate in a professional women’s tennis event in the GCC after she played at the Qatar Open in Doha in 2008. In 2001, Peer also became the youngest woman to ever win the Israeli Women’s Championship.

Tournament organizers in Dubai denied her a visa last year, saying that her presence “would have antagonized our fans who have watched live television coverage of recent attacks in Gaza,” adding that “the entire tournament could have been boycotted by protesters.”

The Women’s Tennis Association fined Dubai a record $300,000 after the incident.

The controversy also led to some of the others players dropping out of the tournament including…


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