The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Al Mana Fashion Group have expanded a multiyear tie-up to open the first brick-and-mortar NBA Store in the UAE and the league’s first e-commerce site dedicated to fans in the Middle East.
The new brick-and-mortar store, which will be operated by Al Mana and located at Yas Mall on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, will open this fall in conjunction with The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022, which will feature the Atlanta Hawks and the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks playing two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, October 6 and Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. GST. The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 will mark the league’s first games in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf.
The 500+ sq m interactive retail and community space will feature a wide range of authentic NBA merchandise and memorabilia, including current and former player jerseys, fan apparel, headwear, footwear, basketballs, accessories and more from major brands such as Nike, Mitchell & Ness, New Era and Wilson. The store will also feature exclusive NBA Abu Dhabi-branded apparel and novelties, as well as a customisation area where fans can personalise NBA jerseys.
Beginning later this month, NBA fans in the UAE and across the Middle East will be able to shop online at NBAStoreME.com for the widest selection of authentic NBA products ever available in the region.
The site will be available in both Arabic and English. Fans can register their interest in receiving updates about the site’s launch by visiting NBAStoreME.com in the coming weeks.
“We are excited to bring the first NBA Store to the UAE and to Yas Mall,” said Tom Foley, General Manager of Al Mana Fashion Group – Sports Division. “We hope the location evolves into something more than a store and serves as a 365 celebration of culture and history of the NBA, acting as go-to place for fans and players alike and a focal point for the game of basketball in Abu Dhabi.”
“The opening of the NBA Store in Abu Dhabi in conjunction with our first games there reflects the growing popularity of basketball in the UAE and across the Middle East,” said NBA Europe and Middle East Senior Director, Global Partnerships Steve Griffiths. “Through this new flagship store and dedicated e-commerce site, we are excited to expand our collaboration with Al Mana Fashion Group to provide the widest range of authentic NBA products ever available to fans in the region.”
Fans visiting Yas Mall from September 22 to October 8 will also be able to enjoy various interactive basketball activities within an NBA-themed area located in the Mall’s Town Square courtyard one floor below the NBA Store location, featuring the Larry O'Brien Trophy on display, NBA Jam, NBA 2K23 kiosks and pop-a-shots.
There are more than 400 NBA-branded retail stores and attractions worldwide that serve as the league’s official destinations for fans around the world.
The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 are part of a groundbreaking multiyear collaboration between the NBA and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) that earlier this year saw the launch of the first Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, a youth basketball league for 450 boys and girls ages 11-14 from local schools across Abu Dhabi. 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 at Middle East Film & Comic Con. Additional events and activities around The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 will be announced prior to the games.
More than 220 male and female prospects from the Middle East – including five players from the UAE – have participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) or NBA Academy, the league’s elite basketball development programs for top prospects from outside the U.S. Since 2019, more than 500 boys and girls have also participated in the NBA Basketball School Dubai (UAE), a year-round, tuition-based basketball development programme for boys and girls ages 6-18.
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