x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Susan Sarandon hopes Dubai ping-pong club will be smash hit

Actress believes that table tennis could be the 'next big thing' in entertainment in the UAE

Oscar winner Susan Sarandon at the launch of the new SPiN Dubai club with Dani Alyamour, co-owner of SPiN Dubai. Razan Alzayani / The National
Oscar winner Susan Sarandon at the launch of the new SPiN Dubai club with Dani Alyamour, co-owner of SPiN Dubai. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI// Hollywood star Susan Sarandon has officially opened a new franchise in a giant glass pyramid which features a golden VIP table tennis table.

Her SPiN Dubai is the latest addition to the city’s nightlife scene.

Academy Award-winner Sarandon visited the emirate this week to launch SPiN Dubai, her newest table tennis club franchise that she believes has what it takes to mix with the city’s more traditional hotspots. “This club has much more of a nightclub feel than the ping-pong clubs we have in the States – it’s very lavish,” she said.

“We want the clubs to reflect the city they are in – the golden table is not something you’re going to find in Milwaukee.

“Dubai is such a futuristic and amazing city that I think it will work well here.”

The club, at The Pyramids in Wafi, opened on Wednesday night with guests trying their hand at the game between mingling.

“This is something very new to Dubai and I think people will enjoy it,” said Marianne Zeynalova.

“You get nightclubs all around the world but I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Her friend Alena Gromova agreed: “This is something I would like to bring my friends to, where we can socialise in a nice atmosphere.”

“There is a unique atmosphere because you are socialising in a completely different way than at a normal nightclub,” said Sarandon. “It doesn’t matter if you’re good at the game or not, it’s a great way to interact with people.”

It’s the social aspect of the game that the club’s parent company, SPiN Galactic, hope will prevent it from being a flash in the pan.

“It’s very addictive,” said Jonathan Bricklin, SPiN Galactic’s co-founder.

The 11 table tennis tables are watched over by staff who have been trained by professional players.

“We have a centre court area that also doubles as the dance floor. When we have competitions we can pull out the table,” said a member of staff.

“We also have a VIP section with a gold frame table and net, which I don’t think any other clubs have.”

nhanif@thenational.ae