Dubai: An Inclusive Sport for All-Female Participation

July 11, 2016

In 2013 BWF announced Dubai as the location for the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals for a period of four years. This exciting partnership with Dubai Sports Council, brings world class badminton players to Dubai to compete in a major badminton event for the first time. The sport of badminton is relatively unknown in the UAE, particularly among local Emiratis. As part of a linked legacy programme, BWF and Dubai Sports Council aimed to increase participation in badminton in Dubai, with a particular focus on youth and women. Shuttle Time is the tool to achieve this.

Creative use of Shuttle Time

Increasing female participation in sport has been identified as a key objective for the Dubai Sports Council. Badminton was identified as the sport to increase participation of females in sports, particularly those who had previously not been engaged in sport. Some of the attributes of badminton were:

  • Indoor activity
  • Non-contact
  • No specific clothing required
  • Individual and team
  • Low impact
  • Opportunities for all ages and ability levels to quickly experience success through sport

In 2014 the BWF and Dubai Sports Council officially launched Shuttle Time Dubai, a unique programme combining elite badminton ambassadors with a community based development initiative.

Outcomes to Date

Shuttle Time Dubai has provided many opportunities for females to participate in badminton through a variety of programmes including:

Schools Badminton

  • Arabic language version of the Shuttle Time resources
  • 100+ school teachers trained
  • 46% female

Schools Competition

  • Under 13, 15 and 17 girls only competitions
  • 176 girls from 15 schools participated
  • Attended by world No. 1 ranked female singles player Saina Nehwal from India

Saina Nehwal

Coach Education

  • BWF Coach Level 1 course delivered
  • Six female coaches attended the course

Dubai Sports World

  • Badminton featured as part of the Dubai Sports World Programme in 2014 and 2015
  • Badminton courts fully booked for duration of Dubai Sports World in 2015


“Shuttle Time Dubai provides many meaningful opportunities for females of all ages to participate and engage in the sport of badminton. The innovative use of social media, female badminton role models and the training of local Emirati women in Shuttle Time, has resulted in an increase in female participation at all ages and levels. The organising of female only competitions and training of female umpires has been very successful and highlights that badminton is a sport for all ages, genders and abilities.”

His Excellency SAEED MOHAMED HAREB, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council