Abu Dhabi Padel Master a breakthrough event for Middle East

Opening tournament of 2023 World Padel Tour has a prize fund of €450,000 and has drawn 128 of the world’s top-ranked players

Padel is the fastest growing sport in the UAE. EPA
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The Abu Dhabi Padel Master, the fast-growing sport's year-opening event with 128 of the world’s top players, will take place on Hudayriat Island from February 21-26, it was announced on Tuesday.

Hosted at Bab Al Nojoum, the padel stars will be battling for a share of the €450,000 prize fund at the Modon-sponsored event, the highest amount ever awarded in a WPT tournament.

Organised by Global MICE Organisation Limited (GMOL Events) and presented by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, it’s the only master category tournament hosted by the World Padel Tour in the Middle East.

Aref Al Awani, second from left, addressing the media during the launch of Abu Dhabi Padel Master along with Bill O’Regan, CEO of Modon Properties, Saeed Ali Obaid Al Fazari, strategic affairs executive director at the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism and Namir Hourani. Photo: ADSC

“We are excited to anchor a new master tournament in Abu Dhabi, which has positioned itself as a world-class destination for leisure and sports,” Alex Corretja, deputy president of the World Padel Tour and former professional tennis champion, said in a virtual address at the launch ceremony.

“This will not only be WPT’s first master tournament of the 2023 season, but it will also be the only Master to be held in the Middle East, leveraging on the major boom the sport continues to witness in the UAE.”

The event is the first master tournament on the WPT’s 2023 calendar as well as the only one hosted in the capital city for the next five years.

“This event joins Abu Dhabi’s ever-expanding roster of world-class sporting events as part of the nation’s drive to promote healthier and active lifestyles for all citizens,” Aref Al Awani, general secretary of ADSC, said.

“Abu Dhabi now enjoys a distinguished position as the latest city to host a WPT master, following our peers in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Marbella, Valladolid, and Madrid.

“Padel has gained significant traction in the Gulf, particularly in the UAE. Many world-class facilities in the country have adopted the sport at a grass-roots level, which further underscores its reputation as the current local ‘IT’ sport.”

Namir Hourani, managing director of GMOL Events, said padel was the fastest-growing sport in the UAE.

“We’re extremely excited about having secured the world’s most prestigious padel tournament for Abu Dhabi,” he said.

The Master 2023 tournament will be broadcast live in more than 130 countries.

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Updated: December 21, 2022, 8:14 AM