Wimbledon’s not all strawberries and cream – although that is certainly a nice aside – and as tennis fever sweeps the globe, July is famously a time when budding Andy Murrays dust off their rackets and buy some new trainers to take to the court.
Granted, the weather in Dubai isn’t quite like that of SW19 at this time of year, but there are still options for playing in the emirate this summer. As for the rest of the year, Dubai is the ideal place to train – as Roger Federer basing himself here in the winter proves.
But if you’re keen to take up the sport over these next few months, it’s time to head indoors to Dubai Sports World. The popular Tennis 360, usually based at Meydan Tennis Academy, will operate from the centre on weekdays until August 31.
Experts in the region believe the sport is growing, too. George Green and Amer Salah set up Rackets Academy in Dubai Sports City in 2016. The centre’s new season runs from Sunday September 10, and Green believes tennis is now the second-biggest sport in the region, after football.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger, particularly in Dubai. Our academy only opened in November and we already have more than 350 members,” he tells Time Out Dubai.
“A big part of why it’s so attractive is because it’s an all-round sport,” Green adds. “It improves your speed, your co-ordination, your power, your balance and your footwork. There’s an appeal in tennis being an individual sport, too. It’s not like a team sport, where you can perhaps hide.” The heat is no excuse. Give it a go.
Tennis 360: Call for prices. Sun-Thu 9am-5pm. Until Aug 31. Dubai Sports World, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 381 3500). Rackets Academy: call for prices. New season begins Sep 10. Dubai Sports City (052 992 8595).
Three more academies
Further ways to improve your game
Clark Francis Tennis Academy
Where better to get your strokes up to scratch than at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium? The home of tennis in the UAE, this famous venue has played host to greats including Roger Federer and Serena Williams. It has five flood-lit courts and also hosts sessions including ladies-only and “cardio-tennis”. The academy coaches at other locations, too, including Arabian Ranches and The Springs.
Call for times and prices. Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, www.cftennisacademy.com (055 658 5333).
Wilson Tennis Academy
You can take part in social programmes throughout the summer with Wilson Dubai Tennis Academy. There are ladies’ mornings, beginners’ clinics and club nights to enjoy.
Summer price: Dhs226 per lesson. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, www.facebook.com/wilsontennisacademy (055 675 3885).
For more indoor racket-related fun, head to Dubai Sports World, where, for the first time with Zayed Abbas Tennis Academy (ZATA), you can play padel indoors over summer. The tennis-squash combo is played in a glass court and is suitable for all ages and levels.
Prices and times vary. Until Sep 2. Sheikh Zayed Road (04 324 2111).