Dubai: The UAE Padel Association (UAE PA) is firming up a long-term strategic plan that will ensure the sustained development of the sport across the country.
This initiative has come from the UAE PA as a core committee headed by Mohammad Al Mutaiwe’e, second vice-president, UAE PA met with representatives of padel clubs from the UAE at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, on Tuesday.
Among the raft of suggestions coming from the Games’ Committee chaired by Dr Jamal Al Hossani and Saeed Al Merri is the opening out of a bidding process that will see the country host at least four FIP 100-point tournaments culminating with an end of season FIP 250-point Masters event, starting from the 2019 season.
Tuesday’s meeting tentatively agreed to host the smaller tournaments in February, March, October and November with the Masters competition signing off the calendar in December. The clubs have been given the opportunity to prepare their bids and route these through the UAE PA before the decision is put forward before the FIP (Federacion Internacional de Padel), the Madrid-headquartered world governing body for padel.
“It is important for us to have a plan of action for the future. I am personally very satisfied with the response of the clubs within the UAE to this proposal of having top-level international tournaments here,” Al Mutaiwe’e told Gulf News.
“I think people generally need to see the potential our sport holds for the future. Once they are convinced then things will get better starting with the grassroots level,” he added.
In addition to an international circuit, the UAE PA will also have a series of tournaments on the domestic calendar and dedicated inter-clubs competitions with players standing a chance to obtain ranking points. “It is important that we have a rankings system so that our players can get a feel of where their game stands in comparison to the international players who would be visiting the UAE to participate in the five main competitions,” Al Mutaiwe’e said.
“Padel is a comparatively new sport in the region and we need to put in that extra effort to make things happen,” he added.
There are a handful of dedicated clubs catering to padel primarily in Abu Dhabi and Dubai including Abu Dhabi Country Club, Rackets Academy, Real Rackets Academy and Padel Pro in addition to the six courts at the NAS Sports Complex.