Dubai's iconic basketball court in Al Jafiliya gets a vibrant makeover

Global sports brand Puma has partnered with Dubai Municipality to revive the sporting landmark



Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied
by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 4:13 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 10:42 PM

A community-driven project has restored Dubai’s iconic Al Jafiliya basketball court from its foundations, injecting a new lease of life to an integral part of the emirate’s original street scene.

With the hope of creating a long-lasting impact on the sports community, global sporting brand Puma has reimagined and revamped the famed court in partnership with Dubai Municipality, a press release read.

The court now features a mural artist Diego Wikander, inspired by the local basketball community. “It brings to life our belief that the court is more than just a game,” said Puma. “The court is a stage for music, fashion, and art, and the artwork has been designed specially to inspire the community never to stop playing,” it added.

“The aim is to create a space that brings together the people of Al Jafiliya and positively motivates the community to continue to play basketball,” said Puma.

“The new court aims to encourage basketball culture within the youth and keep the game alive in the region for generations to come,” the brand stated.

The project is part of Dubai Municipality’s efforts to encourage community sports. The Al Jafiliya court is the first in a series of sports venues that the Municipality would develop to provide residents with more recreational facilities that promote sports and a healthy lifestyle.

Daoud Al Hajri, the director-general of Dubai Municipality, said, “The municipality is keen to provide all amenities and entertainment for the residents of the Emirate in line with its vision to be a leading municipality for a global city.”

Al Jafiliya Square, which opened in 2001, is one of the exceptional recreational facilities that Dubai Municipality seeks to develop continuously. “The municipality has cooperated with Puma to carry out technical and development works for the basketball court in the square, as part of its efforts to take care of all services and facilities recreational and sports and maintaining the sustainability of the aesthetics of the civilised appearance of the Emirate,” Al Hajri added.

The project also celebrates Puma’s re-entry into the basketball category with a strong focus on hoops and basketball culture.

Abdelhamid Oraibi, head of marketing for Puma Middle East, said: “This project was a natural move for PUMA as the brand and basketball go hand in hand. Puma Hoops is about the culture-first mindset – we believe that sports culture is a sport.”

“This project allows us to give back to the basketball community for generations by giving the public a better place to play long-term. We want people to congregate, play basketball and experience public art together in this vibrant space that’s bursting with life,” said Oraibi.

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He added: “Being involved in this type of grassroots project is Puma’s way of powering the community's future and a new generation of basketball players. We hope that by breathing life back into this historic court, we can inspire more people in Dubai to participate in community sports. We want to spark new conversations around basketball here in the region.”

To document the project, the sporting brand has also developed a docuseries released this July that provides an insight into the soul of this talented basketball community.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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