With Wimbledon fever taking over the Abu Dhabi, you might be starting to consider picking up a racket and giving tennis a bit of a go.
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to be extremely fit or look absolutely fabulous in white to play this sociable sport (as long as you’re not trying to be a professional anyway).
There are also loads of places in Abu Dhabi where you can play tennis, and whether you’re looking to try it for the first time, sign up for lessons or just have a laugh pretending to be glamorous tennis stars with your friends, you can do it all on the many courts throughout the capital.
So here are the best places to swing a racket in the city.
Abu Dhabi Country Club
This health and fitness club was one of the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi, and the complex holds a huge range of different sporting facilities, including nine tennis courts. If you want to use one of the courts you should aim to book at least an hour in advance, while the tennis programme features competitions, private and group lesson and other social events. With superb, modern facilities, it’s a very relaxing place to play.
Shakbout Bin Sultan Street (02 657 7777).
Abu Dhabi City Golf Club
Who said golf clubs are just for golfers? This welcoming club also has three international-standard sized tennis courts, and they’re available for visitors and members to use every day of the week. The lessons cater for beginners, expert players, children and adults, while the courts are also floodlit for any late-night games. Single lessons start from Dhs150 for two people, so why not recruit a friend and give it a go?
19th Street, Al Mushrif (02 445 9600).
Al Ghazal Golf Club
If you head away from Downtown and towards Masdar City, you’ll find Al Ghazal Golf Club, which is perhaps best known for its unique sand golf course. But it’s not all about putting and chipping here as there’s also three tennis courts available for rent. Open from 6am all the way through until midnight, it’s the perfect spot for a sunrise game or a late-night session on the court. Your friends can cheer (or heckle you) from the viewing area, and you can re-fuel with endless amounts of grilled meats at Brazilian restaurant Ola Brazil afterwards.
Masdar City (02 575 8040).
You’ll need to be a member of The Club to use these courts, but there are loads of advantages to signing up. Members get access to all four courts plus reduced entry to tournaments and any other tennis section activities. There’s also weekly social sessions on Sunday and Friday evenings from 8pm, a ladies social on Monday mornings, annual championships and kids’ tournaments held every six weeks. If you’re looking to properly integrate yourself into a tennis community, this is the place to do it. Call for prices.
Mina Sadiyat (02 673 1111).
The International Tennis Centre
This huge sporting complex is really the centre of all things tennis related in the capital. The venue hosts the Mubadala World Tennis Championship every December, and the 2018 event saw Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem, and other big names battle it out. But novices can also play here. As well as the stunning stadium, there’s no fewer than eight practice courts for you to have a go on. No membership is required and you can also sign up for lessons with the tennis academy. Booking a court costs between Dhs63 and Dhs158 an hour, while the lesson packages are brilliant value.
Zayed Sports City (02 403 4222).