Focus on…Arab Emirates. Padel in Dubai grows again

  • Post category:Padel

This weekend, the CUPRA FIP Tour makes a stop in Dubai, with a FIP Rise scheduled from Thursday to Sunday. The United Arab Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, is the Asian country with the largest number of padel clubs (more than 320) and courts (more than 950): 30 per cent of all courts in Asia are located in the Middle Eastern country, and an estimated 250,000 fans and around 500,000 followers on social media. According to the FIP Research & Data Analysis Department, after Bahrain the UAE is the country with the best court-to-population ratio on the continent (one court per 10,000 inhabitants). Padel in the UAE is governed by the United Arab Emirates Padel Association (UAEPA), one of the first padel federations in Asia to be established (June 2014) and to be affiliated with the International Padel Federation (FIP) since 2016. In June 2019, the UAE Ministry of Sports decreed the official recognition of padel as a sport with the full support of the government.

In 2023, the UAEPA had 155 clubs and 620 courts affiliated (+13% compared to 2022) and more than 1,900 registered players. To explain this country’s passion for the sport is the fact that the first CUPRA FIP Tour tournament played in Asia was held in Dubai in December 2019, won by French pair Scatena-Bergeron. After this tournament, four more stages of the international circuit were played, also in Dubai (two in 2020, with a FIP Rise and a FIP Star, another FIP Star in 2021 and a FIP Gold in 2023, with the French-Spanish pair Tison-Gil winning), city which also hosted FIP World Padel Championships in 2022.

This year there will be five CUPRA FIP Tour tournaments (two FIP Rise and three FIP Promotion) and, for the first time, a Premier Padel leg with the Dubai P1 from November 4th to 10th. In the FIP ranking there are four players and two women players from the UAE: Ali Alarif is the one with the best ranking (No. 345) followed by Fares Al Janahi (No. 360), the first woman is Fatma Abbas A. I. Jamahi (No. 392).