NBA

NBA to play 2022 preseason games in Abu Dhabi as part of new multi-year-partnership

Add the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the list of non-US countries to host NBA preseason games.

As part of a multi-year partnership deal signed between the NBA and Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the league will play its first NBA games in Abu Dhabi.

The exhibition games, venue and participating teams are yet to be announced, are approximately set for Oct. 2022 as part of the 2022-23 preseason schedule.

These games are the first set of global games officially announced, something that's missed from the league's preseason schedule from the previous two seasons courtesy of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time the NBA played preseason games outside the US was in 2019, when it played games in India, Japan, China and Canada.

MORE: List of non-US countries to host NBA preseason games

The partnership will also include a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, the launch of Junior NBA Leagues for boys and girls at schools across the UAE, a series of NBA Fit Clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event.

"Hosting NBA and NBA 2K League games and events in Abu Dhabi builds on our commitment to growing basketball around the world," NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum said. "Through this partnership, we will bring the authentic NBA experience to fans in the UAE and support basketball development in the region by providing more opportunities for young boys and girls to learn and play the game."

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The partnership will also include a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, the launch of Junior NBA Leagues for boys and girls at schools across the UAE, a series of NBA Fit Clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event.

"This announcement further demonstrates the emirate's position as a top-tier home for global sports and for attracting the very best talent," Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at DCT 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 grassroots level - 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."

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