Claimed by its followers to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world, padel is making notable inroads in Dubai. Gruffudd Owen takes a look at the foremost venues in the city to play this exciting, rapidly expanding game
Emirates Golf Club
Whether you’re a sports nut who can’t resist the temptation of taking up two sports at the same venue or a casual golfer seeking something a bit more fast-paced for a change, the Emirates Golf Club is the ideal place to pick up the stringless racquet and play padel. The splendid club features three courts on site, with the added opportunity to be taught by a dedicated coach through the Real Racquet Academy. Non-members are welcome to play, and free evening trials are also available for those wanting to sample the game for the first time.
Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Complex
The NAS Sports Complex was the venue of the inaugural Dubai Padel Masters in October 2015. Boasting a total of five courts and a seating capacity of 800, the arena is certainly impressive and symbolises the efforts made by the United Arab Emirates Padel Association (UAEPA) to broaden the appeal of the game in the city. Open to players of all abilities.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
This spectacular five-star beach resort offers a wealth of sporting facilities for all racquet enthusiasts. As well as its own padel court, there are also a number of floodlit tennis courts and three squash courts.
Meydan Tennis Academy
Located a 10-minute drive from the NAS Sports Complex is the Meydan Tennis Academy, opposite the world-famous Meydan Racecourse. Open to members and casual visitors, it offers a dedicated padel court, along with seven tennis courts. For those of a nocturnal disposition, there is the option to play at nighttime thanks to floodlighting capabilities on all courts.
Expect the list of padel venues to grow in the near future. UAEPA Second Vice President Mohammed Mubarak Al Mutaiwei has spoken of his desire to see hotels in the city laying out new padel courts, while in Abu Dhabi there are already opportunities to pick up the game at Zayed Sports City and the Country Club (two new courts each), as well as the Emirates Palace Hotel (one court).