The National Basketball Association and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has announced a multi-year partnership to host the first NBA games in the Arabian Gulf.
Two NBA preseason games have been scheduled in Abu Dhabi for October 2022 as participating teams and the host venue will be announced later.
The partnership will see DCT Abu Dhabi serve as the NBA’s official tourism destination partner in China, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
In addition, the games will be part of the “Visit Abu Dhabi” tourism promotion for the UAE’s capital.
The partnership will also include various interactive fan events and feature appearances by current and former NBA players.
The launch of Junior NBA Leagues for boys and girls at schools across the UAE, a series of NBA Fit Clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event will also be tied to the partnership.
“This announcement further demonstrates the emirate’s position as a top-tier home for global sports and for attracting the very best talent,” Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said.
“As Abu Dhabi is committed to further developing as a dynamic global destination, adding the NBA to our impressive year-round portfolio of sports and entertainment events only reinforces the UAE capital’s standing as a centre of sporting excellence.
NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Mark Tatum said bringing league games and events to the UAE marks an important milestone in basketball’s continued global growth.
“Abu Dhabi is a vibrant multicultural hub with a demonstrated track record of hosting world-class sporting events,” he said.
“This partnership will not only bring the live NBA and NBA 2K League experience to fans in the Middle East, but it will also create opportunities for boys and girls to learn the fundamentals and core values of the game through a variety of grassroots programming and fan events.
Al-Mubarak was also optimistic about the NBA’s future in the emirates.
“We look forward to the NBA playing an integral role in developing young talent and healthy lifestyles at the grassroots level,” he said.
“The heart of the UAE’s strategy places great emphasis on empowering youth and building a sustainable future for the nation and future generations.
UAE to host NBA preseason games in 2022