#5: Building on 25 years of success

• Qatar Classic Squash Championship • 27 Oct to 03 Nov 2017 • Doha •  






#1: all change at QSF ] #2: Qatar, back to the future ] #3: so you think you know Qatar ? ] #4: Welcome to the 4 Seasons ] [ #5: Building on 25 years of success ]

All you didn't know you needed to know on the Qatar Classic 2017


This 2017 has shown a real determination of the Qatar Squash Federation to take Squash to another level, building on the success of their predecessors - who started the event in 1992.

An event cannot last 25 years without a solid foundation, and it's a real pleasure to see the new Federation board - led by Mr Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, President of the Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation, supported/organised by Mr Tareq Zainal, Tournament Director - embrace our sport in such impressive manner.

"This is a major event on the World Squash Calendar" said the Paris St Germain Chairman & CEO Mr Nasser El-Khelaïfi. "Our Federation is delighted to host the event with the spirit and energy seen by everyone during the tournament.

"I applaud the players for providing the fans with a week of fantastic squash. I also appreciate the efforts put by the Organising Team who did everything in their power to showcase a top quality tournament. It has been fun watching the top players in action.

"I am sure this tournament will grow further in the years to come,"
he concluded.

"Qatar takes great pride in hosting world class sports events and we have promoted the 2017 Qatar Classic tournament with a zeal appreciated by sports fans.

"We are delighted to host the world's best players and to get positive feedback from them means a job well done!"



Plenty for sure, and I may forget a few things, don't shoot!

The Branding was different. The Event chose five top players - Greg, Gawad, Shorbagy Snr, Ali and Nick - and posted them not only all over the Khalifa Complex, but all over the place in Doha!

It was extremely impressive, and gave  a true feeling of the importance the event holds for Qatar.

The Complex - whether the place itself or the glasscourt - was given the "Blue Treatment". The backwall seats were recovered in blue fabric, the side walls were branded with the QatarClassic 2017, an impressive poster with the Doha Skyline was put on the front wall, and on both sides of the court, the "light/fame" walk allowed the players to arrive in flashing lights and style.

Right outside the public entrance, some food/drinks outlets were installed, allowing the fans to relax before/between the sessions.

Like I mentioned in my article about the Four Seasons, this year the players enjoyed the comfort of having their own single room, the only tournament on the PSA Tour that offers that luxury. And for good measure, the players also enjoyed free laundry...

Another unique feature, the "BMW Army", mainly Black and a few White, branded with the Official Qatar Classic Logo, were driving us. The most we had to wait was 3 minutes - as exceptionally, the cars had to be parked on the other side of the hotel for about 6 hours. As French King Louis XIV said: "I nearly waited"...

And I have to say I truly appreciated the fact that the car was right in front of the hotel door at 4.55am on Saturday morning, to drive me to the airport!

"We have assured that fans arriving at the Khalifa Complex are well looked after.

"They are guided to their seats by trained staff and security.

"The fan zones have been set up just outside the playing arena so they can grab a snack or have a quick meal before getting into the Centre Court to watch the squash."

Head of the Spectators & Fan Committee

"This year we introduced the jazzy "player walk" before every match. This has been well received by the players, fans and the TV audiences.

"The arrival of the players to the venue and their rides back to the hotel is handled with the greatest of care and planning.

"We are delighted to be hosting this high profile event with absolute professionalism."

Head of Players & Court Services Committee


At the beginning, we are all a bit nervous. It was difficult for Steve and I to imagine the event without Hisham Algosaibi and Alaaeldin Allouba, with who we had been working for 12 years and who we consider as friends.

But soon Mohamed El Said, Redab Masoud & Giancarlo Douvis made sure we were working in the best of conditions.

Mohamed was always there to support us when we needed help and his smile/care made our lives much easier! Thanks ever so much....

Giancarlo... How would have I survived without his help??!!! As the protocol was very strict this year, he personally made sure I had the relevant authorisation to be able to move in and out of the Centre Court without disturbing play, and as my normal seat was not available this year, he made sure that the seat next to the one allocated to me was transformed in a table - allowing me to put my computer there during the matches!

He basically saved my life. Nothing less. Merci, merci, merci...

But the Palme d'Or goes to Redab, who was the Media liaison, and made sure that all our requests were fulfilled - well, 99% of them anyway!!!!

Her kindness, sensitivity, vision, understanding of human nature and humour made her my new best friend in Doha. Can't wait to welcome her in France...

She made me work with lovely dedicated people, like Samer, official photographer and great professional indeed, Ahmed and the lovely dedicated adorable Mariam, with who I could speak French and who was a great help all week.

Redab and her team made sure the Press was well looked after. We had our normal press room, but two more squash courts were transformed for our benefits: we had an all-day finger buffet - tea/coffee/soft drinks - and some comfortable sofas with tables for those who had time to take a break!

The following court was now a press conference room, extremely comfortable for the Players and Press alike.

And Redab had a lot of Media from everywhere in the world, with a very heavy presence from BeIn, obviously!

They were filming and broadcasting live from the first day. And it was very nice to meet again with BeIn squash star commentator, Ibrahim El Mezyn.

Needless to say that the Players' Lounge also had been upgraded, with larger sofas, nice temperature, drinks and food as well...

So here we draw the curtain on the 2017 Edition. Can't wait to see what the Team has prepared for us next year Inshallah...

The Frog, signing off.

"We are glad to have in our tournament the Elite of World Squash, and we are delighted to offer them the best of facilities and conditions we feel they deserve. And that includes a good night's sleep..."

"I hope that other tournaments will follow suit and provide in turn the recognition and conditions these amazing Modern Time Gladiators deserve."

Organising Team

L’image contient peut-être : 2 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout

#1: all change at QSF ] #2: Qatar, back to the future ] #3: so you think you know Qatar ? ] #4: Welcome to the 4 Seasons ] [ #5: Building on 25 years of success ]

#5: Building on 25 years of success



Qatar Squash Fed

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