Dubai Duty Free hits the target with darts tournament sponsorship

DUBAI. The world’s eight top-ranking darts players, including 16-time world champion Phil “˜The Power’ Taylor, are to participate in the sport’s first ever professional tournament in Dubai, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free.

Taking place 23-24 May, the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, a knockout format event, will be the first leg of the PDC’s World Series of Darts.

In addition to Taylor, other participants will include five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, two-time World Champion and world number two Adrian Lewis and seven-time major title winner James Wade.

(L-r) World Champion Phil “˜The Power’ Taylor, DDF Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin, PDC Chairman Barry Hearn and One Events Managing Director Craig Mather announce the new event, which takes place on 23-24 May

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin said: “This is the first time that a professional darts tournament has been staged in Dubai and the first time that darts will be played in an outdoor arena. We think that this sport, which is growing in popularity across the world, will be a good addition to Dubai’s busy sports and social calendar.”

The event will be held at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium and Taylor expressed his excitement at the opportunity to play in the emirate for the first time.

“I’ve never had the chance to play there before so it’s great for me and the other players that we’ll be able to play for such a great title,” he said.

“The sport’s growing around the world and it’s a great chance for fans in both Dubai and from across the Middle East to see a live event, and hopefully this will be the seed for the tournament to grow in the coming years.”

Meanwhile, PDC Chairman Barry Hearn stressed the importance of the tournament as part of the sport’s worldwide growth strategy.

“Our aim is that the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters will be the inaugural tournament in a World Series of Darts which will see our top players taking the sport around the world, and our negotiations are continuing to turn this vision into a reality,” he explained.

Sport has been a core part of the Dubai Duty Free marketing strategy since it was set up in 1983, with the retailer sponsoring a number of high-profile golf events, including the annual Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup, as well as WTA and ATP tennis tourmanents and the Dubai World Cup, the richest horse race in the world.

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