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Saturday, 01 May 2010
Sinead El Sibai, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Colm McLoughlin  ()
Sinead El Sibai, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Colm McLoughlin ()

The partnership between Dubai Duty Free and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which was established at the inaugural event in 1989, has been strengthened after the award-winning airport retail operation signed an extended deal with tournament promoters golf in DUBAi.

The move reinforces Dubai’s rapid growth and emergence as a major global commercial and sporting destination.

While the brand Dubai Duty Free is now synonymous with its own ATP and WTA tennis tournaments at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, the company has been a key supporter of most major sporting events in the Emirate, including the Dubai World Cup – the world’s richest horse race – and the Dubai Rugby Sevens from the very outset.

Golf plays equally an important role in Dubai Duty Free’s drive to maintain its profile through a range of sponsorships on the fairways and greens of the Emirate. It is also a corporate patron of the Emirates Golf Federation and hosts the industry-focused Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup, as well as sponsoring the Dubai Duty Free UAE Nationals Cup, Dubai Duty Free Golf Cup and the Dubai Duty Free Seniors Cup.

Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free, said: “With golf in DUBAI boasting two world-class events, naturally we are delighted to be involved with them. I think it’s our common objective of promoting Dubai and the drive for excellence in sport which have led to this perfect partnership.

“We think sporting events are good to be involved with as we believe they are a tremendous way of reaching a global audience while highlighting the outstanding leisure facilities in Dubai,” added McLoughlin, himself a keen golfer and former captain of both the Emirates Golf Club and the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club.

The Omega Dubai Desert Classic has already become a landmark event for Dubai, and the addition of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in 2006 has further cemented the city’s reputation as one of the most sought-after golfing destinations in the world.

“If Dubai has earned the sobriquet of being the sporting capital of the region, it’s because organisations like Dubai Duty Free have played a key role in promoting all world-class events in the emirates,” said Mohamed Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, an event management which is now a part of the Investment Corporation of Dubai’s portfolio.

“The DDF logo is a familiar sight in all big sporting events in Dubai, and that’s a tribute to the company’s commitment to further raise the profile of the emirate on the international level.

“Sponsorship plays a vital role in the success of any sporting event, and it’s really a matter of pride for all of us at golf in DUBAi to see Dubai Duty Free, which is one of the biggest brand names in our country, support our initiatives. We are privileged to have them on board.”

Since the day former Ryder Cup captain Mark James became the first winner in 1989, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic has seen a galaxy of stars such as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Seve Ballesteros, José Maria Olazábal, Mark O’Meara, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Björn, Colin Montgomerie and Rory McIlroy inscribe their names on the huge trophy, making it one of the most popular events on The European Tour.

The same applies to the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, which has showcased the svelte swing of Michelle Wie, Annika Sorenstam, Laura Davies, Karrie Webb, Natalia Gulbis, Gwladys Nocera, Sophie Gustafson and Catriona Matthews to a global audience, putting women’s golf on the upswing.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-1
T2JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-11
T2WESTWOOD, LeeENG18-11
4JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-10
T5MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-9
T5KAYMER, MartinGER18-9
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