Dubai: For Padel Pro’s co-founder and managing partner Hussein El Reda it is essentially about happiness and the positive experience that is created on the court than the financial aspect that comes with it.
“We are not in this primarily for Return On Investment, rather we are primarily here for the return on experience. Everyone who comes to the club has to be happy,” said El Reda, who started Padel Pro, one of the pioneers in the padel scene after having started in 2017.
“We saw the potential of the game and we started with four courts, but the demand kept growing. Those who played the game once got hooked to the sport and had a snowball effect. It exploded in 2020. Today most people might have heard the name of the sport or played it at least once,” said El Reda and traced back the history of the club.
“Padel Pro started near Jumeirah Park in Dubai we have 10 courts. We are the only club to have singles court, which is a variation of the game,” added El Reda, who is about to launch a new Padel Pro centre in One Central, near the Museum of the Future, and another in Abu Dhabi.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, and Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, who created the popular padel team Uncle Saeed team, have played a big role in the development of the sport in the UAE, according to El Reda.
“They are the padel pioneers. We are doing it as a passion to bring in more people and have a positive effect with the people playing the sport,” he said.
Relfecting Dubai's DNA
In the early days, El Reda feels they had to turn away more bookings that they would have wanted to due to the lack of availability of courts and the playing time.
“We had over 1,000 club members joining on a yearly basis, who were active. We would have had more had we had the space. As the sport grew more options became available and people started playing at various clubs. One thing to note about us most diverse club. We had over 50 different nationalities. Locals to expats to Asians, Indians, South Americans, Americans. You name it. Dubai is such a diverse place and we have to reflect that DNA,” he noted.
Padel Pro is not just focusing on the pros and semi-pros, they focus more on the grassroots level and introduce as many people to the sport as possible.
“We would like to focus on the areas where you are beginner or developing the game and go as far as B+. We make sure everybody fits into some category,” he concluded.