Officials are planning to sell 40 percent of capacity at Dubai’s Aviation Club stadium for next month’s emergency edition of the Australian Open women’s qualifying.

Gulf News reports that Salah Tahlak, who runs the “normal” WTA and ATP Tour February events annually in the emirate, is optimistic that a limited number of tickets can be sold for January 10-13 qualies.

With Australia locked down after half-conquering COVID and all players due for a 14-day mandatory quarantine from mid-January upon arrival in Melbourne, qualifying rounds will be held outside of the country – Doha for men and Dubai for women.

The event will run at the same time as an ad-hoc WTA 500 series in nearby Abu Dhabi, the Emerati capital.

“These two back-to-back events are surely going to lend a good, positive start to 2021 especially after these tough times that the world had gone through,” Tahlak told Gulf News.

“These two events are definitely going to bring in fresh and positive energy, not just to the UAE, but to the entire tennis fraternity,” he said. 

”The Dubai Sports Council and the (government)  have been working closely with Dubai and Abu Dhabi to allow at least 40 per cent attendance at both tournaments.

“Everyone involved is aware of the importance of these events and the responsibility that goes along. 

“We will ensure that all Covid protocols are adhered to and there will certainly be no compromise on the health aspects of anyone involved with the competitions.”

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