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NBA Popularity Grows in UAE with Exciting New Deal

posted on: Mar 25, 2022

When you think of the United Arab Emirates, the pictures that form in your mind’s eye are one of the exquisite sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. They’re pictures of exotic marketplaces filled to the brim with spices and textiles, or beautiful Arabic architecture, all domes, and arches.  You think of wonderful garments, made with flowing fabrics and beautiful men and women dressed to the nines. What your mind’s eye most likely does not see is a basketball court and a lot of extremely tall, extremely famous men playing on it! But that’s what’s happening in the UAE right now, in Abu Dhabi, specifically. 

The Middle East has fallen so in love with NBA basketball that they’re currently waiting, along with a few other lucky countries, to host a few of the NBA’s pre-season 2022 games. Recently, the Department of Tourism and Culture in Abu Dhabi was pleased to announce that they would once again be bolstering their reputation as a sports destination by having some of the world’s most famous basketballers on their home turf. The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Department now serves as the NBA’s official tourism destination partner in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and China. While we don’t know what the NBA odds are just yet, we might have a better idea by October of this year, when Abu Dhabi will see the first of what we hope is many games played on their courts.

Abu Dhabi, UAE 2022

Not only does the UAE’s partnership with the NBA mean that locals will get to be up close and personal with their favorite players later in the year, but it also means a massive surge of income for the city and the UAE as a whole. Their partnership includes the games as well as a number of exciting, interactive fan experiences that will include appearances from some of the best current and former NBA players in history. The launch of the Junior NBA league for young men and women across the UAE will also take place during this time, as well as a number of NBA clinics promoting physical health and overall wellness within the sport.

To top it all off, there will be an NBA 2k League exhibition.

The entire city is all abuzz, including DCT chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Murabak. He believes that the announcement of the partnership goes to show that the Emirate really is in a wonderful position as a home for global sporting events and attracts some of the best talents in the world. He says that the city is wholly committed to continuing to develop itself as a dynamic destination for jet setters of all kinds and that adding this NBA jewel to their crown will help them along their path. This is the NBA’s 75th season, and partnering with Abu Dhabi to bring them their first-ever league and 2k games is an incredibly important moment in the NBA’s history and on their part to global growth. Abu Dhabi has long been considered a very cosmopolitan location, and now it’s making a real name for itself in the sporting world as well. It is a vibrant and multicultural destination, and this partnership with the NBA will bring a game that many locals have loved for so long right into their backyard. It’s also a chance to get young, aspiring players of all genders to get to grips with what it really is like to play the sport at such a high level. They’ll have their eyes opened to the fundamentals and values of the NBA through the fan events that we mentioned earlier.

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Please note this post does not necessarily reflect the views of Arab America or its employees.