NBA fans in the UAE have more than just the basketball games to be excited for.
It’s been announced that an NBA District will be hosted at Manarat Al Saadiyat in conjunction with the week the two games will be played at Etihad Arena. The week-long fan event, held from October 5 to 9, will also showcase music, media and art associated with the NBA. Expect brand activations, immersive experiences, limited-edition merchandise, player appearances and more.
An official NBA Store is coming to Yas Mall
The basketball league will expand its presence in the region by opening its first official NBA Store at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The shop, which will span more than 500 square metres, will sell a range of NBA merchandise and memorabilia, such as player jerseys, fan apparel, basketball caps, footwear and more. The website NBAStoreMe.com will also soon launch for those who prefer to shop online.
“The opening of the NBA Store in Abu Dhabi in conjunction with our first games there reflects the growing popularity of basketball in the UAE and across the Middle East,” said NBA Europe and Middle East senior director, global partnerships Steve Griffiths.
“Through this new flagship store and dedicated e-commerce site, we are excited to expand our collaboration with Al Mana Fashion Group to provide the widest range of authentic NBA products ever available to fans in the region.”
The mall will also have special interactive activities for fans from next Thursday to October 8. This includes an NBA-theme area in the mall’s Town Square courtyard that will display the Larry O’Brien Trophy (presented to the NBA champions) as well as NBA Jam and NBA 2k23 video game kiosks and pop-a-shots for those who want to try their basketball luck.
The NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi sign multi-year partnership
Last year, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi signed a multi-year partnership with the NBA to bring games to the region starting with the coming pre-season games between the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks on October 6 and 8 at Etihad Arena.
In addition to the pre-season games, the partnership will have the two team together to expand basketball in the UAE and across the region. Junior NBA Leagues for boys and girls will be launched at schools and academies throughout the Emirates, while NBA Fit Clinics will encourage and promote health and wellness.
“We’re very proud to have this multiyear partnership and that goes beyond that game," said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. "We have shared values with the NBA; values of tolerance, diversity, teamwork — all these things reflect our communities in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”