Dubai rolls out the red carpet for ping pong festival and tournament

Star Chinese ping pong players are entertaining the crowds at the Ping Pong Dubai Festival in Dubai Mall, before taking their place at the tables for the World Team Cup

The 2015 ITTF World Team Cup is to take place in Dubai from 8-11 January at the Al Nasr Club – but before this happens, a celebration of all things ping pong is set to take place at Dubai Mall, with a festival to celebrate the sport.

Dubai Ice Rink at Dubai Mall will be transformed into a sporting arena and play host to the world’s best table tennis players at the inaugural Ping Pong Dubai Festival, a fun-packed community initiative for the sport’s ever-increasing fan base in the emirate.

It has been amazing to see the enthusiasm with which the people of the UAE have embraced the sport since Ping Pong Dubai was launched in 2013

Will Oscroft, Marketing and Communications Director at Falcon and Associates

Taking place from noon until midnight on 6 January – two days before the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Team Cup gets under way at Dubai’s Al-Nasr Club – the free event will provide ping pong enthusiasts the chance to watch celebrities in action, as well as participate in coaching sessions and prize draws.

They will even have the chance to learn from the stars of the game. The Dubai-sponsored Chinese National Table Tennis Team – including Ma Long, the world No 1 men’s player; Zhang Jike, gold winner at the 2012 Olympics; as well as Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning, the world’s top two women players – will be sharing tips and performing trick shots.

Will Oscroft, Marketing and Communications Director at Falcon and Associates, which launched Ping Pong Dubai in partnership with the UAE Table Tennis Association and Dubai Sports Council, said: “It has been amazing to see the enthusiasm with which the people of the UAE have embraced the sport since Ping Pong Dubai was launched in 2013. Already thousands of new players have been introduced to the game and by staging this festival - and providing the community with an opportunity to connect with the game’s greatest players - we look forward to building on that momentum in 2015.”

Jike Zhang
Jike Zhang enjoyed some off time during the ITTF World Tour Grand Final in 2014
 

UAE No 1 Majd Albalooshi – who will be competing at the ITTF World Team Cup - said: “Table tennis is renowned for its ability to bring people together and its popularity is clearly growing in Dubai. What is particularly great about this sport is that anyone - regardless of age, ability or fitness level - can enjoy playing. The Ping Pong Dubai Festival captures this spirit perfectly and I encourage everyone to get involved.”

UAE players and coaches will make regular appearances on eight free-to-play tables at the Dubai Mall to help inspire youngsters, as well as guide players on how to get the most from the game. Details of when coaches will be available will be posted on the Ping Pong Dubai Facebook page, along with regular updates on forthcoming events and activities.