Marwan Elshorbagy is involved in the pick of the first round ties ©Getty Images

The main draw for the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Qatar Classic has been released, with the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex set to play host to intriguing first round fixtures.

The event will take place between October 29 and November 3 and is the second World Series tournament of the 2017-2018 season.

Egypt's world number six Marwan Elshorbagy will take on New Zealand's world number 10 Paul Coll in the pick of the men's first round fixtures.

Defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt joins Coll and Elshorbagy in the bottom half of the draw and has a first round clash with Spain's former world number five Borja Golan.

Golan memorably got the better of the reigning world champion in February's Windy City Open in Chicago.

Gawad is seeded to meet 2009 winner Nick Matthew in the semi-finals but the Englishman has a tough route through.

The 37-year-old will be competing at his last ever Qatar Classic after announcing his retirement earlier this week and could meet Egypt's three-time world champion Ramy Ashour in round two. 

Karim Abdel Gawad will seek to defend his title  ©PSA
Karim Abdel Gawad will seek to defend his title ©PSA

Ashour, who takes on a qualifier in round one, will return to the scene of his second and third World Championship triumphs.

The man he beat in both finals, two-time Qatar Classic champion Mohamed Elshorbagy of Egypt, is seeded in the top half of the draw, alongside France's world number one Gregory Gaultier who he is seeded to meet in the semi-finals.

Elsewhere, 2005 winner James Willstrop of England has a difficult first round clash with Diego Elias of Peru to negotiate.

Tournament wildcard Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi of Qatar is in action against world number nine Fares Dessouky of Egypt.

The 2017 Qatar Classic has $165,000 (£122,000/€138,000) up for grabs in prize money - the most in the tournament’s history.

Players will also compete for points in the World Series Standings as they bid to finish in the top eight at the end of the campaign.

This will earn a spot at the PSA World Series Finals in June.