Dubai tournament director Salah Tahlak says the whole world has been against Novak Djokovic but he is more than welcome to Dubai. Djokovic didn't get a chance to compete at the Australian Open as the Australian authorities just wouldn't let an unvaccinated Djokovic play at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic is set to kick off his 2022 season next week in Dubai. “I think we always have to be positive, Dubai is a positive city. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is always positive, he says whatever happens in the history, leave it behind you and let’s go forward because if you’re standing still that’s not going to help you,” Tahlak said, per The National.
“It’s better to think of the future and be positive. I think it’s great to have him [Djokovic] back. I know the whole world has been against him but at the end of the day he’s number one in the world and he’s a former champion in Dubai”.
Djokovic shouldn't experience any problems in Dubai
“We have no concerns over [his vaccination status] because the most important thing for us is to follow government policy and protocols. The government here does not require someone to be vaccinated to enter the country.
As long as he undergoes PCR testing and those tests are negative, then he can enter. We have PCR testing available in the airport upon arrival and also at the tournament and the official hotel,” explained Tahlak. The Dubai organizers handed one of their wildcards for the women's event to Egypt's Mayar Sherif.
Tunisia's Ons Jabeur is also set to play in Dubai this week as she is seeded at No. 8. “It’s very important for us to support Arab tennis. The UAE has a great relationship with Egypt as well so it’s important for us to have this kind of bond and cooperation with Egypt,” Tahlak added. “Having Mayar Sherif and Ons Jabeur in the draw gives a great Arab flavour to our tournament”.