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The United Arab Emirates is one of the biggest hotspots of all the new trends in the sports universe, and one of their fastest evolving games is racquet tennis. A variety of sub-games have sprouted from this sport, namely padel, pickleball, and squash.
A plethora of quality padel and pickleball venues have popped up all over the Dubai area in response to this trend. If you recently picked up pickleball or have always enjoyed a good game of squash, here’s the inside scoop on where to place racquet sports in the United Arab Emirates.
Padel was invented by Enrique Corcuera in 1969 who created the first court at his home in Acapulco. A Spanish friend of Enrique took the sports to Spain (Marbella) and later on, padel reached Argentina through Julio Menditeguy.
Combining aspects of tennis and squash, padel is an up-and-coming sport in the UAE that has many fans of both making the switch to this new, high-intensity version of the two. Whereas traditional tennis doesn’t have any walls that allow the ball to bounce back onto the court, Padel features a “miniature” tennis court with walls surrounding the perimeter.
This allows for extended periods of competition, and this aspect makes Padel particularly addicting. Along with this, it encourages social interaction, and is incredibly easy to learn for beginners.
Regardless of your experience level, here are some of the best places to play Padel in the United Arab Emirates.
Central Padel Dubai is one of the newest Padel centers to open in Dubai and is currently the first and only WPT (World Padel Tour) facility in the world. Featuring seven WPT indoor courts, world-class coaches and staff, and a club shop for buying and renting padels and accessories, this center will accommodate anyone from beginners to professionals.
On the opening date of March 5th, Juan LeBron and Agustin Tapia (two of the world’s top 100 Padel players) were there early to experience what the court offered. This center is one of the main choices for any top professional Padel player.
Despite being a golf club, this chain of facilities features high-end Padel courts at many of its centers, including the Dusit Thani Dubai, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf Club, and the Jumeirah Golf Estates. Each court booking includes a 90-minute Padel game with you and three other friends.
The prices are a bit higher if you want to make a booking during certain hours of peak business days (Sundays, Fridays, and Saturdays), and alternatively, you can buy a Match-Pack that gives you 15 90-minute matches to play within a 12-month period.
Play Padel with your friends on these high-end courts nestled directly in the heart of Dubai. To book a reservation, visit their website here.
Just Padel is one of the biggest Padel sports centers in the UAE. With 34 courts spread around Dubai, it is likely there is one relatively close to you if you’re in the city.
Many of the centers are on college campuses, so remember that traffic may be an issue on some days. There are also two centers at Kite Beach and Ripe Market, and these two are less trafficked than the centers at universities.
Bookings here come in 45-minute intervals but still run at around the same price/minute as Dubai golf.
Indoor facilities are incredibly helpful for all racquet sports because of their ability to regulate temperatures, especially in Dubai, where temperatures are hot year-round.
Padel Point was one of the first all-indoor padel centers to open in the United Arab Emirates, and despite being the oldest, it is an exceptionally well-built court. Featuring a shop to rent or buy equipment, a lounge area, and even a bar to refuel pre and post-workout, they fully equipped this facility with all the amenities.
Unlike other padel centers, Padel Point allows for drop-in sessions with no reservation needed. Still, it might be good to call and see how busy their center is at your intended time of arrival.
The Matcha Club is perfect for anyone looking for “a mindful escape from the hustle”. This high-end boutique padel club offers much more than its six outdoor padel courts – a wellness studio for yoga and meditation sessions, a cafe called “Nette” which specializes in French-Japanese fusion cuisine, and a lounge for after-workout relaxation.
On the tree trunk of Palm Jumeirah, Smash Padel and Fitness Club feature three padel courts, along with a fully equipped fitness center. The fitness center includes a full-weight lifting gym, yoga classes, and group fitness activities.
Prices here are fairly sane compared to the other spots on this list, so if you’re on a budget, definitely consider Smash Padel and Fitness Club as your cheaper alternative.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Resort located on the Marjan Island (Ras Al Khaimah) offers a wide range of amenities and a fantastic view to the Arabian Gulf. Those amenities include a padel court that is available to both guests and visitors from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
So if you want to relax and enjoy the services of a top of the line hotel after a game of padel, this is the perfect place.
Considering they’re about to become an Olympic sport, pickleball is quickly becoming one of the most popular racquets sports worldwide. Despite this, pickleball is still somewhat unpopular compared to Padel in the Middle East, but there are still a few quality centers in the Dubai area for anyone looking to engage in this sport.
Sitting atop a green sustainable roof in Dubai, Urban Playground offers everything from touch tennis, baseball cages, 360ball, and yes, pickleball. Play a variety of blossoming sports on top of this equally blossoming rooftop.
Zabeel Sports District lies on the roof of The Dubai Mall Zabeel, featuring over 20,000 Sq. Ft. of padel, basketball, volleyball, cricket, and badminton courts. It’s also right next to the Burj Khalifa and the surrounding Dubai cityscape, so we guarantee the views to be spectacular.
Padel and pickleball are exponentially becoming the most popular form of racquet tennis in the United Arab Emirates, and this is unlikely to change. More and more venues are bound to open in the Dubai area, and with this, we’ll see more of these centers with exceptionally built courts and awesome features.
Whether you’re looking for some evening padel-ball fun or a professional looking to train for your next tournament, these locations are sure to accommodate.