With only four days away, a new official trophy for the 12th edition of the Arabian Gulf’s leading tennis experience has been unveiled -- and it is a special tribute to the best of Abu Dhabi.
As the UAE capital readies for the return of the world’s best male and female tennis stars at this week’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, from 19 – 21 December, the instantly iconic new trophy is the work of homegrown talent.
Designed by acclaimed Emirati artist, designer and Mubadala employee Ashwaq Abdulla, the trophy pays homage to the "Volcano Fountain", one of Abu Dhabi’s preeminent landmarks. The fountain was built in the 1980s and became a symbol of co-existence, unity and tolerance, key values upon which a modern Abu Dhabi continues to thrive.
The new trophy evokes the original fountain’s distinguishing characteristics of unique Emirati architecture prevalent in key Abu Dhabi cultural attractions such as the capital’s majestic Qasr Al Hosn, and Al Maqtaa fort in the city’s Bab Al Bahr waterway, as well as Al Jahili fort in the desert oasis city of Al Ain.
Having previously created the WTA Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic trophy for the US tournament, Abdulla is the first Emirati woman to design the Mubadala World Tennis Championship’s top prize. Abdulla revealed the fountain provided the perfect inspiration for a trophy destined for one of the world’s best male players come December 21 in Abu Dhabi.
"This is a very special occasion and I wanted the trophy design to reflect the essence of Abu Dhabi and some of the much-loved heritage architecture of our proud country,” said Ashwaq, who works in the marketing division of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship’s title sponsors, pursuing art and design in her spare time.
“The Volcano Fountain and the iconography of our historic forts are synonymous with Abu Dhabi and its vibrant culture. Abu Dhabi’s unique heritage shines through in architecture at so many of our cultural attractions. This design blends traditional elements with modern materials – the trophy is symbolic of Abu Dhabi. I hope it rekindles fond memories of Abu Dhabi every time the winner looks at it.”
Made from colored crystal, Abdulla’s stunning trophy took two months to make and will be on display at the International Tennis Centre throughout the three-day championship for fans to experience.