Abu Dhabi: One of the UAE's oldest sporting events, the India Social Centre (ISC) UAE Xchange Open Badminton tournament, will be held from February 2 onwards. Announcing details of the 33rd edition of this annual event at a press conference here on Sunday evening, ISC President Sudhir Kumar Shetty said around 250 players were expected to take part in the event. Sudhir Shetty, who is also the COO of UAE Xchange Centre that has been supporting this event for many years and is once again been playing the role of main sponsors, said, "The ISC Open is one of the most prestigious badminton events in the UAE. It is also one of the ISC's premier sporting events as a large number of our own members are involved actively in the game." "This year the prize money has been doubled to Dh 40,000 and some of the top players have evinced interest in playing here," added Shetty. "The highlight of the tournament is that this event is open to all players from GCC and also from all over the UAE. We expect national players from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to come here and show their talent. The main objective of this tournament is to inspire the spirit of the game irrespective of nationalities and to provide them with another opportunity to gain more experience," Shetty said. The press briefing was also attended by P. Hisham, Managing Director of Apex Trading, K.S. Ananth Raman, On Trade Operation Manager, Gray Mackenzie and Partners (GMP), ISC General Secretary John P. Varghese and ISC Sports Secretary K.M Santhosh. The 18-day tournament will feature 16 categories.