Dubai: The Tournament Director of the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open has hailed the dedication and commitment of his staff after the tournament was named as the ATP Tour’s top 500-level tournament for the ninth time in 10 years.

Salah Talek was delighted to see the Aviation Club event recognised yet again at the Tour’s annual awards, while also accepting the challenge of making the tournament even better in the future.

“What comes across strongly is the dedication and responsibility of all of our staff involved in running this event for the past so many years. I salute all of them and I am not surprised that we get things right each year,” Tahlak told Gulf News after Monday night’s announcement.

The award was presented by Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman and President, and defending Dubai champion Roger Federer in front of a packed centre court. The award is voted for by the players on the ATP World Tour.

Dubai was joined by the Shanghai Rolex Masters (ATP 1000) and the SkiStar Swedish Open at Bastad (ATP 250) as the top tournaments in their categories for this year. The Shanghai event has now won for a record four years in a row, while the Sweden tournament won for the 11th time.

“It is very important for us to show the rest of the world how prestigious this tournament is to us in Dubai. While we keep making an impression on the players with a particular standard that we set for ourselves, such recognition also challenges us to do even better in the future,” Tahlak said.

“Realistically, it keeps us busy while posing a challenge at the same time.”

Tahlak lauded the team involved with the running of the tournament, most of whom are regular staff at Dubai Duty Free. “These people are in the office at 7am each day, after which they come to the tennis stadium and stay till late in the night. I think we have simply been getting everything right through years of sheer experience.”