Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Sharapova enjoys the delights of Dubai

February 20, 2006
Share this:

Venus Williams described it as like something out of Disney. Andre Agassi said it's "the way the world was meant to be". And now Wimbledon champ Maria Sharapova has jetted in to Dubai to compete in the Duty Free Open and experience the high-octane charms of a mega-city mushrooming into existence. The 18-year-old lost no time in enjoying some of the treats on offer, going sledding and chatting over a hot drink with one of her main tennis rivals, Lindsay Davenport, at the artificial Ski Resort.

Although Maria has been suffering from a shoulder strain and hasn't reached a Grand Slam final since 2004, well-wishers and organisers are hoping to see a final between the Russian-born champ and the US's Lindsay.

Until/if that happens this week at the $1-million championship, the two girls were obviously keen to make the most of their time in a city that is growing at an unimaginable rate.

In a bid to attract the world's richest and most glamorous personalities as part-time residents, Dubai's developers are flat out building luxury artificial islands such as the 'palms', which branch out into the sea and are already home to several top footballers.

Also under construction is Dubailand - the Middle East's answer to Disneyland – Giorgio Armani and Palazzo Versace hotels, and the tallest building in the world. And for those who prefer to take life at a more contemplative pace, plans are afoot for Chess City, where each of the apartment blocks will be shaped like a giant chess piece.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

Photo: AFP
Maria and her tennis rival, Lindsay Davenport, have a laugh over a hot drink at the artificial Ski Resort in Dubai
Photo: AFP
The sporty twosome grabbed the chance to take an invigorating snow buggy ride
Photo: AFP
Well-wishers and organisers are hoping to see a thrilling final between Maria and Lindsay, pictured here limbering up

More Travel

See more