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Sun 3 Sep 2006 04:00 AM

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Agassi plans Dubai return

Tennis superstar Andre Agassi bid farewell to the game at this year’s US Open championship, vowing “that really is it.”

|~||~||~|Tennis superstar Andre Agassi bid farewell to the game at this year’s US Open championship, vowing “that really is it.”

Well, maybe not. My sources suggest that the Las Vegan legend is being touted by sponsors in the UAE to make a one off appearance at the Dubai Tennis Open next March, for an exhibition match against one of the sport’s other greats, John McEnroe. Figures in excess of US$1 million are being banded around.

Agassi doesn’t exactly need the cash, having made over US$150 million from his glittering career, which has seen him win all the sport’s four major tournaments. But, I hear, he is a huge fan of Dubai, having appeared at the tournament for the past two years.

Tempting McEnroe may prove harder, and more expensive. The former champ is now a television pundit, and apart from Wimbledon, rarely leaves the US.Strictly speaking

Congratulations to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who last week showed off his “reformist” credentials. In a series of speeches, Gaddafi poured scorn over his own people for their lack of economic vision.

He explained: “We don’t produce anything. We sell only oil and consume everything. The kind of trade in which you produce nothing and import goods in exchange for oil, it’s a catastrophe. According to the Libyan news agency, Libya was “socially backward”.

Gaddafi obviously forgot to mention that since 1969 he has been running the country.

No show bono

A flurry of tickets were sold for the upcoming Leaders in Dubai event this year, after word spread that Bono is to address the conference.

But I am sorry to reveal that the Irish superstar and anti-poverty campaigner will not actually be in Dubai.

Nor will he have anything to do with Dubai this year.

The “Bono” appearing on stage will be none other than the equally brilliant Edward de Bono, a leading expert in the field of creative and conceptual thinking.

Feel the change

I can reveal that a massive new fitness craze is sweeping Dubai. Many of the city’s top executives have been trying out – and quickly become addicted to – Bikram Yoga.

This 90 minute programme is one of the most intense work outs you can imagine, but said to be excellent for stress relief and increased concentration in the work place. Sessions at Club Stretch are being filled each evening by some of the best known names in business.

I should admit this point that I gave it go myself last week, and haven’t looked back since. It’s tough, it’s painful but it’s well worth it.

Book worm

Finally, well done to Sean Brierley, who has just been appointed Editor-In-Chief of MEED.

In the press release sent out to announce this great event, it explains that Brierley is not just an outstanding journalist but also an author, having penned “The Advertising Handbook.” According to the publishers, in this book “Sean Brierley explores the structures of the profession and examines the roles of all those involved in advertising including businesses, agencies, consultancies and media owners.”

Sounds good. Just a shame nobody agreed – the book is ranked No. 1,981,678 in the Amazon charts. And still falling.||**||

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