The NBA and Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced that the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 will feature the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. The teams will play two preseason games on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
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. The games and surrounding events will be supported by a roster of marketing partners, including Aldar, Experience Abu Dhabi, Gatorade, Nike and Tissot.
“We are excited to be preparing for the new season of the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 with the thrilling preseason head-to-head games between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves," said H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, the director general for tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi. "We look forward to welcoming the players, teams, and fans to experience the destination and strengthening our efforts to bring the very best in sporting entertainment and engagement across Abu Dhabi.”
NBA games have aired in the UAE since the 1987-88 season, and the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 are part of a multi-year collaboration between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi that last year saw the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks play the league’s first games in the Arabian Gulf.
“Following the success of last year’s games and events that welcomed fans from across the globe to Abu Dhabi, we’re excited to return in the 2023 preseason with two great matchups between the Mavericks and Timberwolves and some of the best players in the world," said NBA Europe and Middle East managing director Ralph Rivera. "Our collaboration with DCT Abu Dhabi continues to support the NBA’s goal of introducing basketball and its values to young boys and girls in the UAE and globally, and that will be the case once again through these games and the surrounding activities."
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.
“The Dallas Mavericks certainly recognize the importance of globalizing the game of basketball," said Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall. "For many years, we have enjoyed international players and a growing international fanbase. We are honored to play the game we love for NBA fans in Abu Dhabi and around the world. We appreciate all who have worked so hard to create this exciting opportunity for our team and our fans.”
“As the NBA continues its global expansion, the Minnesota Timberwolves are honored to be selected for the NBA Abu Dhabi Games," added Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. "Thank you to the NBA and the host city of Abu Dhabi for allowing us the opportunity to bring fans together through the game of basketball.”