Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have declared that they will be organising the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023, with the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves set to play two preseason games on October 5 and 7, 2023, at the Etihad Arena located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The event is part of a multi-year partnership between DCT Abu Dhabi and the NBA. As part of the partnership, the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, with both boys’ and girls’ leagues consisting of 450 players aged 11–14 from various schools across the UAE capital, was launched in January.
Interactive fan events featuring current and former NBA players, NBA FIT clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event will also be included in the partnership. Under Experience Abu Dhabi, the tourism promotion initiative of the UAE’s capital, DCT Abu Dhabi will serve as the NBA’s Official Tourism Destination Partner in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and China.
Mr. Ralph Rivera, NBA Europe and Middle East Managing Director, commented that “following the success of last year’s games and events that welcomed thousands of 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.
Mr. Cynt Marshall, Dallas Mavericks CEO, remarked that “the Dallas Mavericks certainly recognise the importance of globalising the game of basketball. For many years, we have enjoyed international players and a growing international fanbase. We are honored to play the game we love for NBA fans in Abu Dhabi and around the world. We appreciate all who have worked so hard to create this exciting opportunity for our team and our fans.”
In addition, Mr. Ethan Casson, Minnesota Timberwolves CEO, stated that “as the NBA continues its global expansion, the Minnesota Timberwolves are honored to be selected for The NBA Abu Dhabi Games. Thank you to the NBA and the host city of Abu Dhabi for allowing us the opportunity to bring fans together through the game of basketball.”