RIT Dubai graduate creates new platform to connect UAE padel community
Emirati entrepreneur’s app supports female participation in trending racket sport
A new platform, co-created by Emirati entrepreneur and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai graduate, AbdulAziz AlZarooni, is set to connect the growing community of padel enthusiasts who are taking up the trending racket sport across the UAE. The technology includes a dedicated feature for female participants looking to practice the sport at women-only sessions.
Go Padel is an innovative mobile application that provides an integrated scheduling and booking system, allowing padel players to search for available courts and reserve their preferred time and location, all within seconds. Launched on November 18th, the technology was developed in response to the growing popularity of the game throughout the Emirates, and the system is the first of its kind in the world to cater to female players through a women-only filter.
AbdulAziz explained, “Padel is a fast-growing sport that merges tennis and squash. With its growing popularity, particularly since the end of lockdown, it became increasingly difficult to secure court bookings and we found the only way to check availability was by calling each and every club, which was a lengthy process. We realized then that there was a gap in the market, and we decided to start conducting some research to gather different views on how to tackle this.”
Building on their market research, AbdulAziz and his co-creator, Saeed Ahli, started development work on the new platform in January this year. He continued, “The technology to support the system was built entirely in-house and the interface is purpose-designed to be quick and easy to use. We knew that it would be particularly difficult for ladies looking to access courts for women-only sessions, so we added that filter as a feature from the outset. The app also includes the option to add friends to your game, allowing each player to pay their own share of the cost.”
Business graduate AbdulAziz began his degree at RIT in New York before returning to the UAE to complete his studies when the University opened its campus in Dubai. He is well established in the world of technology through his day job as Manager of ICT Business Development for du, and he believes his RIT education and the support and encouragement of the UAE Government are the inspiration for his venture into entrepreneurship.
AbdulAziz said, “RIT offers a different kind of education based on real-life scenarios and learning by doing, which certainly encourages the entrepreneurial mindset. The UAE is the best place for me to build on this, with all the support and resources the Government offers us as citizens and the global marketplace that the country has established, we have the opportunity to build locally developed products like this to reach a global scale.”
As Dubai recently hosted its inaugural Padel Cup, AbdulAziz hopes that the Go Padel application will contribute to growing the sport’s community even further in the UAE. He concluded, “It’s a sport for people of any age and it’s great for bringing together people from different nationalities and breaking down barriers between cultures. I hope that our platform encourages more people to join the game in the UAE, to experience this sense of community through sport.”
About RIT Dubai
Established in 2008, RIT Dubai is a not-for-profit global campus of the esteemed Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, one of the world’s leading technological-focused universities with a storied 185 year history. Entering its next stage of growth in the region, RIT Dubai is now operating from phase one of its new $136 million state-of-the-art campus development, which will provide interactive learning space set over 129,000 square meters.
RIT Dubai offers highly valued Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business and leadership, engineering, and computing. The curriculum provides students with relevant work experience through an innovative cooperative education program that helps students stand out in today’s highly competitive job market. RIT Dubai offers American degrees, and all of RIT’s programs are UAE Ministry accredited. Students of RIT Dubai also have the unique opportunity to choose to study abroad at the main campus in New York or at one of its other global campuses.