Apart from being known for its explosive real estate market, its attractive business-friendly policies and vibrant night life, Dubai is also becoming popular for its rapidly expanding sports entertainment portfolio. Dubai is host to some of the world’s most recognized sporting events including the Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, the Dubai Rugby Sevens and the Dubai Cup, an international annual horse racing event held at the Meydan race course.
One of the most popular events in Dubai’s portfolio of world-class entertainment picks is the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. This event boasts some of the biggest names in tennis including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovich and Rafael Nadal. Dubai is also home to the world’s highest tennis court located close to the top of the 1053 feet (321m) tall Burj-Al-Arab hotel. It is therefore, no surprise that the popularity of tennis is rapidly increasing amongst the youth of Dubai.
For tennis enthusiasts, there are many options on where to play tennis in Dubai. Many venues have coaching classes for those who want to learn or improve their technique; some of these venues also allow pre-booking of tennis courts on an hourly basis. If you are looking to play regularly without incurring membership fees or daily rental charges, there are very few public tennis courts in Dubai. Most of these can be found at parks and are usually overcrowded. Here are some of the top locations where tennis enthusiasts can indulge in their love of the sport.
1. Clark Francis Tennis
Established in Dubai for over 20 years, the name Clark Francis has become synonymous with tennis in Dubai. CF tennis promotes the development of a tennis player at all levels of accomplishment from the beginner to the proficient player looking to play competitively. The facility runs a variety of adult as well as children’s programs at over 19 venues across the emirate. Kid’s programs begin at the tender age of 4 with the TOT’s program. CF tennis also train and mentor their junior tennis players to compete in the showcase junior tournament in Dubai, The Junior Masters Series, where winners are sent on an all expense paid trip to the French Open at Roland Garros. CF Tennis also host a series of tournaments for players of varying ages and abilities to help promote participation and competitive play within the community. All coaches are experienced players, affiliated with Tennis Emirates, the governing body for tennis in the UAE.
2. Emirates Tennis Academy
Run by head coach and managing director Jean-Francois Danican, the ETA has tennis courts in five locations around Dubai, all situated in parks. Safa Park, on Shaikh Zayed Road, has three tennis courts and lots of other fun activities to keep the kids entertained. Barsha Pond Park situated in the residential Al Barsha area is popular with local residents for its lovely ponds, clean jogging track and two training tennis courts. Al Nahda Pond Park located in the Al Nahda area has two tennis courts, Satwa Park on Sheikh Zayed Road has one and Mirdif Park located between Mirdif City Center and Uptown Mirdif has one court. All courts need to be pre-booked. Booking information can be found here.
3. Al Nasr Leisureland
A modern park in the heart of the city, Al Nasr Leisureland is situated on a 48 acre site, and provides several sports facilities for its visitors. If you just want to have fun playing a game of tennis without joining a club or coaching classes, Al Nasr visitors can avail of four standard size tennis courts that can be booked on an hourly basis for a charge of AED 60 per hour. Al Nasr Leisureland also provides coaching classes for beginners as well as professionals looking to polish up their game. Rates for coaching can be found here.
4. Dubai Tennis Academy
The Dubai Tennis Academy currently has two locations in Dubai with more expected soon. DTA offers a variety of tennis programs for all levels of play with a low player/coach ratio and structures lessons to maximize enjoyment and development of the game. They also host a variety of programs and tournaments for kids, mixed adults and ladies only. Rates can be found here.
5. Al Sufouh Park
One of the few parks that have free basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, this park also has a jogging track and gym facilities for visitors.