Reports claimed the venue would be made official by the Asian Football Confederation on Monday evening but problems with Syrians getting travel visas for the UAE have reportedly killed off that option.

Australia are due to play Syria away on October 5, before the reverse fixture in Sydney five days later.

Syria have played all of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers on neutral territory because of the civil war raging in their homeland.

The Qasioun Eagles had played all of their home third round qualifiers in Malaysia, but had reportedly opted to swap to West Asia. Syria also played their second round home fixtures in Oman.

Australia's last trip to Abu Dhabi was successful, with the Socceroos defeating UAE 1-0 in September last year in qualifying.

Now it appears likely the original plan to play in Malaysia may be resurrected, reducing the travel time between legs, but a final decision has yet to be confirmed.