The World Snooker Federation (WSF) is today delighted to announce that the 2019 WSF Championships will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E).
The Championships will run from 28 March – 7 April 2019 and be staged at the spectacular Dubai World Trade Centre, a stunning purpose-built complex for events and exhibitions. The event has been organised with the full support of the U.A.E. Billiards and Snooker Association (UAEBSA) which has provided invaluable support to the WSF over the past 12 months.
Following a successful inaugural edition of the event in Malta this March, next year’s event will once again include several top-class amateur snooker tournaments for amateur players from across the globe. The 11-day event will be highlighted by the WSF Mixed Gender Championship which last year saw 18-year-old Chinese prodigy Luo Honghao take victory to secure his place on the World Snooker Tour.
Next year’s winner will again be guaranteed to claim a two-year professional tour card from the start of the 2019/2020 season, together with a top prize of €10,000. All four semi-finalists of the main competition will also be invited to participate at the 2019 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield where just three more wins will stand between them and a place in the final stages at the iconic Crucible Theatre.
The WSF Championships will also incorporate the 2019 World Women’s Snooker Championship run by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker and won this year for a third time by Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee. Once again next year’s champion will take home the top prize of €6,000 and will be invited to compete in Sheffield at this season’s professional World Championship qualifiers, looking to follow the example of England’s Reanne Evans who in 2017 became the first woman to win a match at the professional World Championship against Robin Hull.
Finally, the event will also see the second staging of the WSF Seniors Championship, won last year by Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo in Malta. Open to players over-40 years of age, the event will provide another opportunity for senior players to claim the €6,000 first prize and earn a place in a major World Seniors Snooker international ranking event.
Both the Women’s and Seniors events will run across the first four days (28-31 March 2019) with each to include two days of round robin group matches followed by two days of knockout matches.
As was the case this year, the top eight players of both the Women’s and Seniors events will automatically qualify to play in the main WSF Championship, which will begin on 1 April 2019. This provides equal opportunities for both men and women to earn a two-year tour place on the World Snooker Tour amongst the other opportunities to which will be available to players.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “Since our visit to Dubai last year, we have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from the UAEBSA. In particular the support that we have received from Mohamed Shehab, both a highly decorated athlete in the region and a true friend of the WSF has been valuable in the announcement of this event.
“The U.A.E. is fast-developing as a key strategic location in snooker’s global development. During the long season, many of our professional players are passing through this area and with the excellent vision of the UAEBSA we are sure to develop more opportunities ahead. We thrilled and proud to announce that the WSF Championships will be staged at this prestigious location in Dubai.”
Mr. Sultan Al Joaker, UAEBSA said: “We are very positive that the 2019 WSF Championships in Dubai will be both a very special and unique event. The UAEBSA has played a major role is the development of snooker in Asia and now it is the right time to shift our targets towards the global game under the professional guidance of the WSF.”
Further information, including event entry details will be released as soon as possible.