Swedish company Padelx has brought its floating padel court to UAE shores, with the first opening on the man-made lake near Cluster I in JLT, Dubai.
Accessible via a footbridge, the court is rooted in the lake bed (so it will not actually bob about when you're in the swing of things), but is surrounded by water on all sides, making for a novel way to enjoy the sport.
Padelx offers two courts, which can be booked via the Playtomic app, with rates starting from Dh200 for 60 minutes.
When not in use by padel players, the floating court can double as a venue for fashion shows and other gatherings and, as such, is open to book by individuals and corporates. The two conjoined courts can accommodate up to 100 people and have a weight capacity of 10,000kg.
“An active lifestyle should be fun, and this court is a testament to that,” said Sofie Kallstrom, chief executive of Padelx, which counts former Al Hilal football club players Christian Wilhelmsson and Sami Al-Jaber as partners.
“Our first floating court in Dubai is the first chapter of a, hopefully, long story for us and a channel to build the ecosystem for the sport here in the Middle East."
Wilhelmsson, executive business developer at Padelx, said: “Padel is easy to learn, fun to play and rewarding ... a sport to inspire the youth, and everyone else for that matter, to play, have fun and achieve a healthier lifestyle.”
Padel has taken off in a big way in the UAE, with courts mushrooming all over the Emirates, as it becomes the world's fastest-growing sport. The Mena region has been playing an important role in padel's journey to becoming a truly professional, global sport. In March last year, a new tour ― Premier Padel ― officially kicked off with its first major in Doha, followed by the World Padel Championship at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
From February 21 to 26, Hudayriat Island will also play host to the Abu Dhabi Padel Master, with 128 of the world’s top players set to descend on the capital.