Activity

Ready, set, Padel

The high energy sport taking the world by storm

Activity

Ready, set, Padel

The high energy sport taking the world by storm

With easy-to-learn rules and an enjoyable social element to it, padel is fast becoming a global phenomenon. World-class courts pop up around the world every few months, making the sport a fun way to get under the skin of a new city and keep fit while you travel. Visiting Dubai? Our new courts at Jumeirah Al Qasr are well worth a game. On business in Abu Dhabi? Decompress on our new courts at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island. Whether you’re passing through on holiday or a local keen to experience the sport yourself, keep reading for your full guide to padel.

 

What is padel? A brief history of the sport

During the 1800s, British cruise ship voyagers would often entertain themselves with a version of tennis adapted to fit the vessels’ confines. By the 1910s, variants of this game, known as 'Platform Tennis', became particularly popular in Washington and New York, where players replaced traditional tennis rackets with special ‘paddles.’ The first known court is thought to have been built in Acapulco in 1969 at the holiday home of Mexican businessman and padel enthusiast, Enrique Corcuera. Over time, the game spread throughout Latin America and quickly gained momentum in Europe. By the 1990s, increasingly sophisticated courts were cropping up across Europe. Today, padel is a global sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Its combination of tennis and squash makes it an exciting and addictive game that can be enjoyed both competitively or socially. With its fast-paced rallies and close-calling shots, padel is a fun way to stay fit.

A padel racquet

 

Back to basics: How to get started

Padel's simple rules make it a great, high-energy sport for all levels of players. The game combines the speed of squash with the mental agility required to ace a tennis match. If you’re a novice you needn’t be put off as the walls on either side of the court make it easier to return difficult shots, making padel a great option even for those who are less experienced in racquet sports. Learning the basics and honing your skills is all part of the fun, while more experienced players can challenge themselves in heated competitions. In short, padel’s fast-paced nature makes it a fun form of exercise, as well as providing an excellent social outlet.

The padel court of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island

 

The rules of Padel explained

Echoing a tennis format, padel is a racket sport played on an enclosed court with short paddles and a special low bouncing ball. The game is typically played in doubles, with each team consisting of two players. The ball is served diagonally, must be hit underhand and must bounce once on the serving team's side before being returned by the opposing team. Once the ball is in play, it can be hit off the walls, including the back wall. Players then alternate hitting the ball between each other and cannot hit the ball twice in a row. The game is won by the first team to win two out of three sets, with each set played to six games, and a tiebreaker played at 6-6. In addition, players cannot enter the opponent's court or touch the net during play.

The padel court at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island

Finding a Padel community in Dubai

Our sleek health and wellness members club, J Club, has collaborated with the renowned Mouratoglou Tennis Academy to offer three padel courts within the tranquil setting of Jumeirah Al Qasr. Whether you're a seasoned player or a newcomer to the sport, you can book a court for a friendly match, an individual or group lesson with Head Coach Peter Wessels - a former national coach from the Netherlands - or attend a workshop. As a J Club member, you can benefit from complimentary access to the courts for an hour every day, a 15% discount for longer games, and a free session with Jumeirah's tennis professionals once a month. With over 50 delicious bars and restaurants on your doorstep at Madinat Jumeirah, you can refuel and debrief on your game in the resort’s tranquil gardens or cool off by the beach.

The exterior of Jumeirah Al Qasr

If you’re visiting the United Arab Emirates or a local resident keen to give Padel a try, be sure to book into our courts at Jumeirah Al Qasr in Dubai and Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. You can also discover our best tennis and padel courts with a view in the Maldives, London and Dubai.