Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed a multi-year contract with the NBA. As part of the deal, the NBA will be played in Abu Dhabi for the first time.
Due to the pandemic situation, there was no global preseason schedule announced by NBA but now the event in Abu Dhabi is the first set of global games that are officially declared. In 2019, the NBA had its last preseason outside the US, it played games in China, Canada, India and Japan.
The deal also includes interaction with the fans by the NBA players, the unveiling of Junior NBA Leagues at schools across the UAE, a series of NBA Fit Clinics endorsing health and fitness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition affair.
NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum said, “Hosting NBA and NBA 2K League games and events in Abu Dhabi builds on our commitment to growing basketball around the world.”
“Through this partnership, we will bring the authentic NBA experience to fans in the UAE and support basketball development in the region by providing more opportunities for young boys and girls to learn and play the game.”
Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “This announcement further demonstrates the emirate’s position as a top-tier home for global sports and for attracting the very best talent. 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.”
“We look forward to the NBA playing an integral role in developing young talent and healthy lifestyles at the grassroots level – the heart of the UAE’s strategy, which places great emphasis on empowering youth and building a sustainable future for the nation and future generations,” he added.
The teams and the venue are yet to be revealed but it is speculated that this event will happen in October 2022 as a part of the 2022-23 preseason practice.