Al Habtoor Motors has come forward to facilitate UAE's snooker aces Mohamed Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker's participation in the prestigious 2012 IBSF World Championship, which gets underway in Sofia on Saturday.
Medhat Y. Yassa, General Manager Credit for Al Habtoor Motors, told a well-attended press conference at the UAE Billiards & Snooker Association (UAEBSA) head quarters on Tuesday that his company was proud to be sponsoring the country's top two players.
Yassa said: "We are keen followers of sports in the country and when we were approached by UAEBSA to provide financial support for the two players' participation in the World Championship in Sofia, we readily agreed.
"Although this is the first time we are sponsoring UAEBSA, we have been aware of the achievements of the national players in top flight snooker events. We have high hopes that both Mohamed & Mohammed will do well at the event in Sofia.
"We also hope that in the future we will get more involved with snooker in the country as Al Habtoor Motors is keen to play a proactive role in the social development of the country and we see sports as an effective tool towards this end."
UAEBSA Vice-President Mohammed Tamjid Abdullah said: "We are confident that our boys will put in their best effort at the World Championship and we are grateful to Al Habtoor Motors for providing the needed support."
Sultan Al Joaker, the UAEBSA Secretary-General, commented: "The event in Sofia will bring together the best players from 46 countries and there will be 100 players in men's singles tournament vying for the top honours. Our first target will be to go past the round robin opening stage."
Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker both completed an eight-day training stint with former world professional No. 10 David Roe of England on Tuesday.
Roe, who was on the world professional Main Tour for 25 years before turning to coaching recently, said: "It has been a great training camp for the two players.
"Obviously they are both top-class players and are very committed. They have had a good preparation, but the World Championship is a tough event with players from British Isles, China and Thailand all participating.
"Both Mohamed and Mohammed are naturally good enough to go through the first stage of the tournament but then it becomes a knockout battle and a lot depends on the draw."
Shehab said: "It is going to be a tough event but we are prepared. We recently staged two major events, the 2012 Arab Championships and Dubai International Open, which served to be great preparation grounds for us.
"There were some shortcomings in our game, but these have now been successfully sorted out in the training camp with David. We have been to such events before and have done well, so hopefully we will again be able to live up to everyone's expectations."
The two players are scheduled for depart for Sofia on Wednesday.