ABU DHABI: The National Basketball Association and the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi today announced an expanded series of fan events surrounding the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 Presented by ADQ, which will see the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves play two preseason games on Thursday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The first NBA Fan Appreciation Day in Abu Dhabi will take place on Friday, Oct. 6 from 4:30 p.m. GST at Etihad Arena. The unique fan experience will feature appearances by Mavericks and Timberwolves players and NBA legends including 19-time NBA All-Star and six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith. Activities will include a skills challenge and three-point contest featuring Mavericks and Timberwolves players, performances by the Mavericks Entertainment Team, the Timberwolves Dunk Team, and the team mascots, and a slam dunk contest featuring professional dunkers.
NBA District, an interactive event that last year welcomed nearly 10,000 fans, will return to Manarat Al-Saadiyat from Thursday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 8. Fans will be able to meet five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway Sr., and nine-time NBA All-Star and NBA champion Gary Payton, participate in basketball activities on a full-size NBA court, watch NBA highlights and programming, take photos with the Larry O’Brien Trophy, purchase limited-edition NBA merchandise, and more.
First access to NBA Fan Appreciation Day in Abu Dhabi tickets will be offered to NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 ticket holders via a unique link starting today and for a one-week period prior to tickets going on general sale on Sep. 14. Tickets for NBA District, which cost AED 55 ($15) for a one-day pass and AED 180 for a four-day pass, are now on sale at ticketmaster.ae.
“We are excited to expand our fan programming around this year’s games by introducing NBA Fan Appreciation Day in Abu Dhabi and bringing back NBA District,” said NBA Europe and Middle East Head of Fan Engagement and Direct-to-Consumer George Aivazoglou. “Through these events, fans of all ages, from Abu Dhabi and abroad, will have more opportunities to interact with the NBA, the Mavericks and the Timberwolves.”
The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 will air live in the UAE and across the Middle East and North Africa on beIN SPORTS, The Sports Channel and NBA League Pass, reaching fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital media and social media. In addition to presenting partner ADQ, the games and surrounding events will be supported by a roster of marketing partners, including Aldar, Experience Abu Dhabi, Gatorade, Nike and Tissot.
The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 follow last year’s preseason games between the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks, which marked the league’s first games in the Arabian Gulf. In January, the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi launched an expanded second season of the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, featuring boys’ and girls’ leagues each composed of 450 players ages 11-14 from schools across the UAE capital. The collaboration also includes a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, a series of NBA FIT clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event. The collaboration sees DCT Abu Dhabi, under Experience Abu Dhabi, the tourism promotion initiative of the UAE’s capital, serve as the official tourism destination partner of the NBA in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and China.
NBA fans in the UAE and across the Middle East can shop online at NBAStoreME.com and at the NBA Store at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi for the widest selection of authentic NBA products ever available in the region.
Tickets for the NBA Abu Dhabi 2023 are on sale at etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.