Dubai Basketball to call Coca-Cola Arena home

Featured image credit: Government of Dubai

Newly-formed Dubai Basketball has struck a deal to become the anchor tenant of Coca-Cola Arena as it continues its development plans.

The franchise has been launched to bring professional basketball to Dubai and in March was confirmed as an addition to the ABA League, a competition which is currently made up of clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

Under the vision of chairman and owner, Abdulla Saeed Al Naboodah, Dubai Basketball ultimately aims to break into the EuroLeague, the top-tier club tournament in Europe. However, the team will commence operations in the 16-team ABA League, beginning with the 2024-25 season which is due to tip off in September.

Dubai Basketball will stage its home games at Coca-Cola Arena as part of a broad partnership with the venue which opened in June 2019. Salem bin Dasmal, president of Dubai Basketball, said: “Securing the Coca-Cola Arena as our official home venue underscores our dedication to elevating the sport of basketball in Dubai.

“As a beacon of entertainment and sports excellence, the 15,000 capacity Coca-Cola Arena aligns with Dubai Basketball’s commitment to delivering world-class experiences to fans across the region. This partnership allows us to create unforgettable experiences for our fans and showcase the best global basketball talent in a world-class facility.”

By playing in the 2024-25 season of the ABA League, Dubai Basketball plans to get a toehold in the EuroLeague, along with building a fanbase. Other activities include organising the EuroLeague SuperCup and Sports Business Summit, which will help elevate its international presence.

In subsequent years, Dubai Basketball will attempt to raise its competitive position with a view to boosting game attendance and providing wider reach. This will be followed by a transformative phase, which includes striving for a top-10 qualification in the EuroLeague.

Apart from competing in international basketball leagues, Dubai Basketball aims to help grow and develop the game and its fanbase in the region. Additionally, the team plans to develop a club structure in the emirate and nurture youth teams, with the creation of a state-of-the-art training facility.

Dubai Basketball is also in the process of laying the foundations of a youth programme with an eye towards the EuroLeague. This involves creating a club structure, ensuring compliance with Euroleague Basketball’s conditions and commitments, and preparing to launch its flagship project – the Regional League.

Mark Jan Kar, general manager of Coca-Cola Arena, said: “The opportunity to build the ultimate home court for our players, our fans, and our incredible city is an absolute honour. Coca-Cola Arena’s integration with Dubai Basketball will change the game and Dubai’s sport culture in every sense.”