DUBAI, The Badminton World Federation, BWF, announced on Wednesday it has accepted Dubai Sports Council's offer extended to all Summer Olympic International Federations and will set up a regional office called "The BWF and Badminton Asia Regional Office" within the council's headquarters in Dubai Design District (d3).

The announcement came on the penultimate day of the season-ending 2016 Dubai World Superseries Finals, following the official inclusion of the UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association as the 187th member of the BWF.

Dubai Sports Council first announced the offer to all Summer Olympic International Federations during the 2016 SportAccord Convention in April. The offer includes complimentary office space for up to two representatives for two years.

"The BWF's decision to officially recognise the UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association as a member of the Federation is hugely significant. This move indicates the growing profile of the Dubai World Superseries Finals and the emirate's badminton offering as a whole. The BWF establishing a regional office in Dubai Sport Council's headquarters also comes as fantastic news and this is certainly an exciting time for the development of badminton in the UAE," said Dawood Al Hajri, President of the UAE Table Tennis and Badminton Association, while commenting on the announcement.

"Dubai's geographical location, global connectivity, state-of-the-art infrastructure and tradition of hospitality make it the ideal setting to convene the world of sport. As such, we are delighted to see the BWF and Badminton Asia use the emirate as a gateway to Asia and look forward to working alongside them to extend the benefits of badminton to the continent and right across the world," Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Dubai Sports Council, added.

"More than two billion people across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region live in the four-hour time zone either side of Dubai, placing the emirate right in the epicentre of badminton's key markets. The launch of this satellite office will not only drive greater levels of engagement between Badminton Asia and its stakeholders in the continent, but will also bolster the BWF's wider development objectives for badminton in the region. We thank Dubai Sports Council for its generosity and look forward to building on the fantastic relationship badminton already enjoys with the emirate," observed Poul-Erik Hoyer, President of BWF.

Facilitated by Falcon and Associates, Dubai signed a four-year partnership with the BWF in 2014, which saw the emirate host the Dubai World Superseries Finals and sponsor the BWF World Superseries Rankings under the name "Destination Dubai Rankings" for the first time in that year, which will continue till 2017. The deal also saw the launch of the governing body's grassroots initiative "Shuttle Time Dubai," which is run by a Dubai-based BWF Badminton Development Manager and has grown exponentially since 2014. The 2016 edition of the season-ending final at Hamdan Sports Complex concludes on 18th December.

Source: Emirates News Agency