24 Hours After Attending Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Luka Doncic’s Mavs Teammate and Karl Anthony Towns Embrace Emirati Lifestyle With “Kandora”

Published 10/07/2023, 12:12 PM EDT

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The Timberwolves and the Mavericks have been in Abu Dhabi for the past few days to participate in the NBA preseason. In 2022, the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi announced a multi-year deal that will allow Abu Dhabi to host NBA preseason games. The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks played preseason games in Abu Dhabi a year ago. It was the first time the league had staged games in the Persian Gulf.

It looks like the players are embracing the Emirati lifestyle and culture. The NBA superstars went to the world-renowned mosque, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, 24 hours before their preseason contest.

KAT and Grant Williams Embrace Emirati Lifestyle With “Kandora”


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A “Kandora” is a traditional dress worn by Emirati men. On Saturday, NBA players like Karl Anthony Towns and Grant Williams were seen wearing the Kandora before their preseason game. The Dallas Mavericks also went to the world-renowned mosque, Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Players are willing to embrace the Emirati culture as they look to recuperate before the start of a long and tiring NBA season.

The Mavs and the Timberwolves played their first game of the preseason on October 5th at the Etihad Arena. The Timberwolves came out on top, as they defeated the Mavs 111-99. Luka and Co. would be looking to get revenge against the Wolves, as they face again later today. The Game begins at 12:00 PM, Eastern Time.


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The Minnesota Timberwolves will be hoping that their star player Anthony Edwards can get a run-in. As the 22-year-old star has been battling an ankle injury that he sustained during practice. In his absence, Karl Anthony Towns has stepped up, as he scored 20 points in the first game, the most by a Wolves player.

NBA Looking to increase influence in the Middle East

The NBA is committed to growing the sport beyond the borders of the USA. The NBA signed a multiyear deal with the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi to host exhibition games at the Etihad Arena. Abu Dhabi provides a gateway to further bolster NBA’s appeal among the Arabian population.


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NBA’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum said, “There are a number of reasons the NBA is excited to come to Abu Dhabi, one of which being we have a lot of basketball fans here. The UAE is number two in terms of our NBA Pass consumption and number two in terms of our NBA 2K League consumption as well”.

He further continues, “When we look to bring our games outside of the US, we look for world-class facilities; Abu Dhabi certainly has that and is used to hosting huge international events”. Will the NBA succeed in increasing its appeal in the Middle East?”


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What do you think of the Middle Eastern influence in NBA? Is it for the better? The stars seem to be loving it so far, but let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Dushyant Singh


One take at a time

Dushyant Singh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. His basketball script journey began in 2020 when he was captivated by the Los Angeles Lakers’ triumphant NBA championship win. Before that he was merely dribbling and dunking as a boy next door.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja