The energy for padel is electric with emerging coaches and exciting players.
I recently returned from my trip to Dubai and the amount of growth I encountered blew me away.
Several years ago, when I was still playing and coaching tennis in Dubai, there were only two small outside padel courts.
This time, I visited sixteen courts that were all under construction the last time I was there.
Each club has ongoing clinics, frequent tournaments, and an overall great atmosphere for padel. In short, they were exquisite centres with extremely nice courts, beautiful areas for having a drink after a game, and up-to-date facilities. I was quite pleased I could make the trip back!
In this blog, I’ll share a bit about my experience on this trip and my future hope for padel’s growth worldwide.
Today, there are nearly 500 padel courts throughout the entire UAE! I love seeing this type of growth because it signifies how big padel can get throughout the world.
The entire Emirati population has shown an increased interest and an enhanced enthusiasm, and I saw high levels of skill among players in the clubs. Watching several matches, I couldn’t help but smile, picturing how the last time I was here padel might as well have been nonexistent.
But now, there are already countless high-level players practising in state-of-the-art facilities. Padel here grew faster than I ever would have expected.
During the many clinics we conducted this week, the high level of coaching I witnessed at the courts encouraged me. It brought to mind that you don’t have to be a top level player to be a great coach.
Of course, better players typically make for better coaches, but this doesn’t have to be the case. While touring the many clubs I saw coaches at various levels of personal ability confidently teaching at their clubs.
Even though their padel level wasn’t extraordinary, the level of education they were imparting to their students was quite robust. You could tell that the players were eating up everything the coaches were sharing. Their students brought a high level of coachability and energy for the game and this made all the difference.
I could see how invested the students were in their own learning, and it was remarkable to see the high level of involvement and interest from so many new padel players.
As my trip progressed, I spent a bit of time with some guys from the federation as well. They told me they had big plans to continue the growth of padel in Dubai.
Since the social nature of padel fits so well with the Middle Eastern culture of friendship and camaraderie, I have no doubts that they will succeed. Padel will continue to grow in Dubai and beyond because even those who are brand new to the game have no fears of joining and playing a few games.
Padel will continue to spread past Dubai to Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. The Middle East as a whole will be an interesting place to watch!
If you ever get the chance to visit the UAE, stop by Dubai and check out a padel match. You won’t be disappointed.
Now tell me, how is padel growing where you are? Leave a comment below.
We can’t wait to hear from you,
-The Padel School