The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Abu Dhabi have entered a new partnership which will see Abu Dhabi hosting NBA games in 2022.
The multi-year partnership will see the first NBA games to be hosted outside of China or the US.
Beginning in October 2022, the preseason NBA games in Abu Dhabi will mark the first games between two NBA teams in the Middle East.
The partnership will also include a variety of interactive fan events, such as appearances by current and former NBA players and the launch of Junior NBA Leagues at schools across the UAE.
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at Abu Dhabi, said: “As Abu Dhabi is committed to further developing as a dynamic global destination, adding the NBA to our impressive year-round portfolio of sports and entertainment events only reinforces the UAE capital’s standing as a centre of sporting excellence. “
“We look forward to the NBA playing an integral role in developing young talent and healthy lifestyles at a grassroots level. This is the heart of the UAE’s strategy, which places great emphasis on empowering youth and building a sustainable future for the nation and future generations.”
Mark Tatum, NBA Chief Operating Officer, said this was an important milestone in basketball history.
“As we celebrate the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, partnering with Abu Dhabi to bring the first NBA and NBA 2K League games and events to the UAE marks an important milestone in basketball’s continued global growth,”
“This partnership will not only bring the live NBA and NBA 2K League experience to fans in the Middle East, will create opportunities for boys and girls to learn the fundamentals and core values of the game through a variety of grassroots programmes and fan events”.
The participating teams and host venue will be announced at a later date.