Tennis has been on the rise in Dubai ever since the first edition of what is now known as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 1993. There are many places to play the sport in the city, including several leading academies with world-class facilities, as well as the highest court on the planet
Formed in 2010, Tennis 360 is owned and run by tennis professionals, delivering programmes with an emphasis on personalised service. Focusing on developing movement, tennis skills and mental and physical conditioning, the academy’s philosophy is “First the athlete, then the player”. Its headquarters are at the Meydan Tennis Academy, while there are also programmes at the American School of Dubai, Shangri La Hotel and the indoor courts at Dubai Sports World.
As well as attracting local and expat residents and overseas visitors, Tennis 360 is also a popular choice for professional players, as Business Development Director Gwen Sproule explains: “We have carved a reputation among the ATP and WTA touring players as a hospitable destination for stopover and pre-season training between the months of November to May.”
Wilson Dubai Tennis Academy
The first ever Wilson academy in the Middle East, the WDTA provides a wide range of programmes for players of all ages and ability in addition to world-leading expertise in racquet equipment. The academy is set in an idyllic location at Dubai’s stunning Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, overlooking the iconic Jumeirah beach. Following the success of the original academy, the WDTA now also has a base at the Tennis & Country Club Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast just an hour’s drive from Dubai.
CF Tennis Academy
With more than 20 venues across Dubai, the CF Tennis Academy offers world-class facilities and programmes at some of the city’s most stunning locations. The academy’s main base is the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, which hosts the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and is considered the home of tennis in the UAE. Since it was founded in 1997, the CF Tennis Academy has built a reputation for developing players from novices to seasoned professionals, with its showcase tournament being the adidas Junior Master Series.
Elite Tennis Academy
One of Dubai’s longest-running tennis institutions, the Elite Tennis Academy was formed by then-UAE national coach Luis Miguel Reis in 2004. It provides elite coaching at affordable prices at some of Dubai’s most exclusive venues: Emirates Golf Club, Atlantis – The Palm, Waldorf Astoria, Dubai International Academy and Al Ittihad Private School Jumeirah. As well as coaching and player development, the academy puts a strong focus on the social side of tennis and having fun.
For those who don’t want to commit to joining a club or booking coaching classes, there are plenty of places to play tennis in Dubai, as the sport continues to flourish in the UAE. Most prominent of all, of course, is the world’s highest tennis court, close to the top of the 321m-high Burj-Al-Arab hotel. Back on terra firma, Al Nasr Leisureland in the heart of the city has four courts that can be booked on an hourly basis, while free public courts are just one of the many recreational activities on offer at Al Sufouh Park.