When did padel first start in Qatar? What was the first club like?
Padel was introduced to Qatar in July, 2018. The 2 first courts were owned by my older brother Abdulaziz and his partner Xavier Pedredo under the name of Padel Qatar.
How did the local population find padel at the start? How much has the sport grown in the last couple of years?
Because of the big influence my brothers and I have on the local community, the demand on the courts was extremely high. In fact, it was almost impossible to find a slot in the booking schedule unless you set your alarm at 00:00 to be able to book a slot after 5 days, as every night the booking opens for that day.
Since that moment, we understood that the sport is highly appreciated within the local community and there was always a room for improvement. Today, there are 3 padel companies in Qatar (Padel In, Padel Qatar and Padel Doha) with more than 5000 people practice Padel on a regular basis.
Did you have (are having) any teething problems with introducing this new sport? If so, what?
Not at all, Padel as a sport is very interesting. The sporting side of it is amazing. Not only you enjoy practicing the sport, but you also burn a lot of calories and that helps you to sustain a very healthy lifestyle. As for the spectators, the sport is amazing to watch. We were surprised when we hosted the first tournament in Padel In as we run out of space for spectators.
Where are you now? How many courts in the country and how many players?
Currently, there is more than 20 courts that is run as a business between 3 companies. At Padel In we have 4 of them for the moment and obviously we look to expand our operations. What is more surprising is since we opened our club (August 2019) we were asked by clients to build courts in thier private accommodations and we’re able to build 11 so far and some interesting places. It’s important to mention that our courts supplier is the famous Mejorset, who was the sole supplier for the World Padel Tour for the past 4 years.
What is your focus for the next year? What do you think will be the future of padel in Qatar?
At Padel In we understand the high demand of the sport and we always look to fulfil the need of the market by supplying the best quality courts and services to help the growth of the sport. Currently, we are building our second location and a city that has no Padel courts (Alkhor) and it’s very important for us to introduce the sport to bigger portion of the community. Our goal was always to build a name and a franchise not only in Qatar, but also in the neighbouring countries like Kuwait and Oman. We have already established ourselves there and we’re looking for a location to build our brand. We believe in the sport not only as a feasible business, but also to bring people together and to have a joyful time.
Khalid Saadon Alkuwari from Qatar
To find out more about the amazing growth of padel in Qatar, checkout these social media pages:
For Padel in Qatar: @padelinqatar
For Khalid (author of the article) @khalidsaadon