Adel Aref began his career in umpiring after injury ended his ambitions of becoming a tennis player when he was 16 years old. He progressed through the ranks quickly and achieved the elite Gold Badge status at the age of 24, the youngest person to do so.
He umpired games at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments, officiating 30 events per year on ATP and WTA Tours. In 2006, he became Director of Officiating in all of Africa and Middle East – overseeing 100+ officials.
During a 2006 Davis Cup doubles match between Great Britain and Serbia & Montenegro, Aref was involved in a line call dispute with tennis player Andy Murray. Murray was incensed at what he felt was a wrong decision and swore at the umpire. The incident, which was picked up on television microphones lead to Murray being fined $2,500. Speaking about the incident Aref said, “He apologised two years later in Paris. We then got closer when he came to Doha when I was working with the Qatar Tennis Federation. We spoke about it and now we laugh. He’s such a nice guy. I give him a lot of credit. He was young and the press were using everything against him.”
Adel Aref was also involved the time at a tour event technology has been used by players to challenge a line judge's call.
Adel Aref was responsible for training all of the tennis officials to Olympic standard in the lead-up to both the Athens and Beijing Olympic games. Over the course of his umpire career Aref officiated at seven Grand Slam Finals – Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open, and three career Olympic Games (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008).
Aref retired from umpiring in 2008 at the age of 28 following four years of officiating at the top level.
In 2008, Adel Aref became the Director of Marketing, Branding, and Player Services at the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) .
The QTF was set up to develop young Qatari tennis players and to promote tennis in Qatar, Adel Aref worked on events for the ATP, WTA and ITF in the tennis world. He also led the marketing campaigns for The Sony Ericsson Championships Doha 2008-2010, Qatar ExxonMobil Open and Qatar Total Open which was awarded Best Event of the Year by the ATP.
Prior to Qatar Tennis Federation, Adel Aref worked as a media consultant for Sony Pictures on TV program The Voice and sports consultant in Dubai UAE, launched an international tennis circuit, that helps young and promising tennis talents in the Arabic peninsula and west Asia, this circuit is called OPT Circuit.