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Venus and Serena riding high in Dubai

March 1, 2005
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It would seem that tennis star Venus Williams has got the hump with her sister Serena. But that doesn't mean the two sibling aren't getting along. In fact the pair were closer than ever when they enjoyed an afternoon on the beach in Dubai. Newly released pictures of the two sporting champs show them riding a camel in front of the country's famous Burj Al Arab hotel.

Venus and Serena were snapped while taking time out from their preparations for the Dubai Open. The two hate competing against each other, so they rarely enter the same non-Grand Slam events, but Venus apparently had so much fun at last year's tournament that she convinced her younger sibling to come along to this year's Open.

Many tennis experts believe the two perform better when they are together, so the other competitors will have a tough challenge on their hands. "We love to practise together," explained Serena. "I actually think I play better when I hit with Venus because she brings out the best in me. She's just slapping winners left and right. So for me I always do better when I practise with her."

The annual championship also provides a showcase for the many attractions that make Dubai one of the Middle East's top tourist destinations. More and more holiday-makers in search of something a little different are taking advantage of the Emirate's luxurious accommodation, bustling souks and tranquil desert.

The Burj Al Arab hotel, which soares to a height of 321 metres and dominates the city's skyline, represents some of the finest accommodation the world has to offer. Services on offer include chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces and highly trained butlers to provide round-the-clock attention.

The region itself is a popular destination for sports enthusiasts with golf, fishing and desert safaris among the activities available. It also plays host to numerous sporting challenges. In March these range from the Dubai Desert Golf Classic to the International Kite Surfing Challenge.

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Photo: AFP
The two tennis champs try out some local transport. Dubai's famous Burj Al Arab hotel can be seen in the background
Photo: AFP
The pair also paid a visit to a local henna tattoo artist

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