Streetball & Sneakers Are Soaring In Dubai Courtesy Of The Filipino Diaspora

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Dubai is known for its exotic places, extravagant hotels and is home to some of the richest individuals in the world. You’ve probably seen countless videos of the pompous life of these filthy rich folks from Dubai and this isn’t what I’m here to tell you about. I’ve read an article on that blew my mind. There is a growing number of Filipino expats that are bringing a new flavor to Dubai – streetball and its derivatives, the sneakers . I used to live in Rockville (Maryland )and we had an indoor gym where we played almost every night. There was a group of 10 to 15 Filipinos who were regular on the court ; what amazed me about these guys is that not only did they rock striking sneakers but their passion for the game of basketball was unmatched. One  particular guy in the group, about 5 and a half feet tall had amazing handles and was relentless on the court, you would’ve thought he was playing in an NBA playoff game. I’m saying all that to stress the fact that these guys had an authentic love for basketball and sneakers that is non existent nowadays. Michael Jordan’s transcendental legend started with the love of the orange ball and led to what we know today as Jordan Retro collectors and the sneaker game. This unadulterated passion for sneakers has now died out but the Filipino expats are resurrecting the nostalgic 90’s to some extent in Dubai.

Show up to the court any day of the week, from 3pm to 11pm, and you’ll most likely find a frenetic full-court game. With around 620K expats in the UAE, the Filipino population has been vital in nation building as well as spreading its love for hoops. img via
Nike has a lane there and should tap into it. Brands have to invest their resources where they are celebrated . Filipinos are bringing a new aroma to Dubai that could be huge for Jordan Brand. I still long for the 90’s so do many but street ball is literally dead in North America. Dubai is the ideal outlet-contrasting the grandiose lifestyle of the rich to street ball and sneakers makes for the perfect narrative. These expats represent the streets, the struggle, the passion,the love, the real and we know that the sneaker game started in the streets. There is a level of authenticity with these Filipinos that many can resonate with. There is so much more I can say about it but read the article and let your imagination take you to that famous Al Jafiliya basketball court.
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