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Luka Doncic (No 77) of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Image Credit: NBAE via Getty Images

London, Abu Dhabi: Top NBA stars will be in action during the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 featuring Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves in two preseason games on October 5 and 7 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

The Mavericks currently feature four-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA First Team member Luka Doncicćas well as 2016 NBA champion and eight-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving. The Timberwolves currently feature three-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA Third Team member Karl-Anthony Towns, three-time NBA All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, and 2023 NBA All-Star Anthony Edwards, said the National Basketball Association and the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) on Tuesday during the announcement.

Multi-year collaboration

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, said: “We are excited to be preparing for the new season of The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 with the thrilling preseason head-to-head games between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. We look forward to welcoming the players, teams and fans to experience the destination and strengthening our efforts to bring the very best in sporting entertainment and engagement across Abu Dhabi.”

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 are part of a multi-year collaboration between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi that last year saw the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks play the league’s first games in the Arabian Gulf. In January, the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi launched an expanded second season of the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, featuring boys’ and girls’ leagues each composed of 450 players in the age group of 11-14 from schools across the UAE capital. The collaboration also includes a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, a series of NBA FIT clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event. The collaboration sees DCT Abu Dhabi, under Experience Abu Dhabi, the tourism promotion initiative of the UAE’s capital, serve as the Official Tourism Destination Partner of the NBA in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and China.

Exciting times ahead

Ralph Rivera, NBA Europe and Middle East Managing Director, said: “Following the success of last year’s games and events that welcomed fans from across the globe to Abu Dhabi, we’re excited to return in the 2023 preseason with two great matchups between the Mavericks and Timberwolves and some of the best players in the world. Our collaboration with DCT Abu Dhabi continues to support the NBA’s goal of introducing basketball and its values to young boys and girls in the UAE and globally, and that will be the case once again through these games and the surrounding activities.

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 will air live in the UAE and across the Middle East and North Africa on beIN SPORTS, The Sports Channel and NBA League Pass, and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital media and social media. The games and surrounding events will be supported by a roster of marketing partners, including Aldar, Experience Abu Dhabi, Gatorade, Nike and Tissot.