“What is padel? Padel is an energising racquet sport that combines the elements of tennis, squash, and racquetball.” Real Racquet Academy
Interest in playing Padel has sky rocketed in the capital. Padel, the fast-paced hybrid of squash and tennis, is both energetic and great fun. Demand is growing and so are the number of new courts opening up to meet it.
Padel is an addictive sport, it’s an easy game to learn especially if you’ve played tennis and it’s ideal for players of all ages and abilities. Here’s my pick of the courts that I have played on to date and some ideas of more that have opened recently or opening soon.
321 Sports at Al Hudayriyat Island – 321 Sports offers four outdoor floodlit Padel courts. It’s easy to book and pay online with good communication from the team if you have any queries. There’s a small kiosk between the car park and the courts where you check-in, hire equipment and drinks etc. The floodlights were slow to come on which was not ideal but we were given an extra half hour free as compensation. It was quite hectic and distracting as there were kids sports classes taking place right next to the courts.
Court fees (Peak/Off-peak) – 60 minutes AED 230/AED 190, 90 minutes AED 340/AED 290, 120 minutes AED 430 AED/AED 380
Telephone: 02 691 0256 Website: 321sports.ae/sports/padel-tennis
ACTIVE at Al Maryah Island – The capital’s large multi-sport complex, ACTIVE has 3 outdoor Padel courts at its Al Maryah location near Galleria Mall. Located on the north side of Al Maryah Island, ACTIVE offers lots of activities alongside the Padel courts but it was pretty quiet when we played on a Saturday afternoon. The reception area is near the underground car park where you pay and can hire rackets, buy balls and there’s also food trucks if you get peckish.
Court fees – 1 hour AED 200, 1 1/2 hours AED 275 and 2 hours AED 300
Telephone: 02 403 4488 Website: www.activealmaryah.ae/en/sports#padel
Al Forsan International Sports Resort – The Padel courts at Al Forsan have a picturesque location on the edge of the water-sports lake. While the view is lovely, especially at sunset, stray balls do roll into the water out of the open court doorways. So if you don’t mind risking possible soggy balls this is a good facility. The courts are looked after by the water-sports staff at the centre next to the lake, don’t waste time going to pay at the main reception like we did.
Morning Session (6am – 3pm) Afternoon Session (4pm – 2am)
Court fees – Weekdays AED 140/AED 200. Weekends and Public Holidays AED 200 (Daily special offers – Mommies Special 9am to 1pm. Schools/Corporate Communities 1pm to 4pm).
Telephone: 02 656 5656 Website: alforsan.com/sport/sports-recreation
Let’s Padel Academy – Abu Dhabi’s first indoor facility, Let’s Padel Academy is located in the heart of Mussafah. The indoor air-conditioned venue has four Padel tennis courts, a cafe, pro-shop where you can buy and rent equipment and changing facilities.
While it’s a state-of-the-art facility and air-conditioned indoor courts are an absolutely must for summer, it’s a mission to get there through the crazy Mussafah traffic. Individual and group coaching is available as well as lessons and packages.
Hourly fees – 60 minutes AED 340, 90 minutes AED 440 (30 minute extension if available AED 120)
Telephone: 050 661 4646 Website: letspadelacademy.com
Read a full review of Let’s Padel Academy HERE
Yas Acres Golf & Country Club – The newly opened Yas Acres Golf & Country Club has 4 outdoor Padel courts alongside the nine-hole golf course, restaurant, gym and outdoor swimming pool. It’s a great facility if you live on Yas Island or in the Al Raha Beach area. Non-members are welcome to play Padel and can book via the Troon International App.
Court fees – Off-peak (weekdays before 5pm/weekends after 5pm) AED 160 the peak rate of AED is expensive in comparison to other facilities.
Telephone: 02 404 3000 Website: troonabudhabi.com/yas-acres/
Zayed Sports City – The Padel courts are located next to the outdoor courts of the Zayed Sports City tennis stadium. As well as court bookings Padel lessons are available for those players looking to improve their skills. The courts at the end of the tennis facility in what felt like an unfinished area.
I found the courts pretty noisy as there were lots of kids activities going on all which was distracting, especially the proximity of the adjacent basketball court. On the plus side the courts are well located in the middle of Abu Dhabi.
Court fees – 60 minutes AED 200, 90 minutes AED 275 and 120 minutes AED 370
Telephone: 02 403 4488 Website: www.activealmaryah.ae/
These are some of the new venues that have recently opened are which I am looking to try. A Team Experience at Yas Plaza (3 outdoor courts) and Top Padel at Deerfields Mall (3 outdoor courts). TSS have also opened courts at Saadiyat Rotana (3 outdoor courts) and at The Dome in Al Rawdah (5 courts). The opening of Yas Padel at Yas Marina is good news, not only for its closeness to my house but the outdoor facility, from the guys behind Vogue Fitness, looks like it’s going to be a top notch.
Keen Padel players can download the Playtomic App which allows court booking and payment across the capital and around the world if you are travelling. If you are looking to buy a Padel racket I can recommend UAE online shop El Padel who have a well priced selection with prompt home delivery.
I have played at the six courts mentioned. All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2022. All rights reserved. Three additional photos used with courtesy of the respective venues.