Fortnum & Mason’s Tennis At The Palace In Abu Dhabi

Exclusive Ballooning were in Abu Dhabi this week as Fortnum & Mason hosted the inaugural Tennis at the Palace tournament.

Located in the lavish grounds of Emirates Palace, a purpose built grass tennis court and grandstand were installed, along with a two floor marquee, including the Royal Box, where guests could sit and enjoy food and drinks throughout the day. There was also a dedicated Fortnum & Mason marquee, where you could buy the famous F&M hamper, along with a selection of their finest teas, biscuits, jams and Easter eggs!

The event backdrop was completed by the stunning Fortnum & Mason hot air balloon tethering behind the tennis court and Fortnums’ store, in full view of all of the guests and overlooked by Emirates Palace and the Etihad Towers.

This balloon is extremely unique and eye catching. The balloon envelope is made from bespoke dyed fabric to match the Pantone colour of the F&M branding. Built in Bristol UK, the balloon is 90,000 cubic feet in volume.

In addition to the balloon envelope, the basket replicates the famous F&M Hamper style. The outside of the basket is stencilled with the famous logo and is trimmed in bespoke dyed leather. Even the internal tank covers, padding, floor and burner have been matched to Fortnums’ colour scheme.

This event was organised under the patronage of Sheikha Shaikha Bint Mohammed Bin Khalid al Nahyan and included legendary players, such as Tim Henman, Richard Krajicek, Pat Cash, Younes El Aynaoui, Mikael Pernfors, Peter McNamara, Mansour Bahrami, Henri Leconte, Jana Novotna and Marion Bartoli playing both singles and doubles matches.

The first day of the event was Ladies Night, with up to 100 Emirati women attending, including Her Royal Highness, in an exclusive female environment and watching a singles match between Wimbledon Champions Jana Novotna and Marion Bartoli. Three tennis matches were played on each of the following two days with trickshot specialist Mansour Bahrami sometimes stealing the show with his amazing technique, style and humour but it was Tim Henman who won the singles matches!

The event has been a huge success and has already been confirmed for 2016.