Golf Clubs in the United Arab Emirates have been celebrating the increasing popularity of the sport in the region having recently hosted over 50,000 rounds in a single month for the first time.
The number of rounds at the UAE’s premier clubs including; Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, The Montgomerie Dubai, Arabian Ranches, the Els Club Dubai, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Al Hamra Golf Club, Saadiyat, Yas Links, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa and Jumeirah Golf Estates were reported upon by independent auditors BDO Chartered Accountants & Advisors.
The United Arab Emirates has been welcoming golfers since 1988 when the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club, often referred to as The Desert Miracle, became the first grass course to open in the region.
In the 24 years that followed the United Arab Emirates has introduced a host of world class golf courses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.
Mustafa Al Hashimi, Club Manager at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club commented; “It is a fantastic achievement for the golf courses in the United Arab Emirates to have hosted over 50,000 rounds for the first time. The profile of the region as a true golfing destination is growing every year due to the premium opportunities for golfers that exist, together with the excellent climate for golf especially in the winter months.”
In total 54,365 rounds were played in the United Arab Emirates during the month of March with over 44% of these being member rounds, 42% local rounds and 14% of rounds coming from overseas visitors.
The Majlis course at Emirates Golf had the most number of member rounds (over 3,300) and Abu Dhabi Golf Club welcomed the highest number of local players to the course (over 3,400). Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah had the highest number of overseas visitors and welcomed over 1,200 tourists to the course in March.
Simon Mees, General Manager of Al Hamra Golf Club said; “Ras Al Khaimah is establishing itself as a tourist destination for visitors who want to enjoy the great golf courses and other leisure opportunities available within the Emirate. The club has benefitted from the increasing number of tourists to the region, many of whom also come and play our superb courses.”
The addition of floodlights within the past two years on both the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club and the championship course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club has provided even more opportunities for golfers within the Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
General Manager of Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Ken Kosak said; “In 2011 we introduced floodlights to the championship course and this has meant that local golfers who were previously restricted as to when they could play golf due to work commitments can now play at times convenient to them. Night golf has proven to be particularly popular in the summer months when the weather is hotter and the evenings can be the best time to play 9 or 18 holes.”
Golf in the region has also been boosted by the hosting of major tournaments which have attracted some of the biggest names in golf including; the Omega Dubai Desert Classic which was first played on Emirates Golf Club’s Majlis course in 1989, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship which has been held on Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s championship course since 2006 and the prestigious DP World Tour Championship, Dubai - the season ending tournament of The European Tour which has been played on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates since 2009.
“The Race to Dubai has contributed very positively to raising the profile of golf in the region.Despite opening just over three years ago we have been able to welcome some of the game’s great players to Jumeirah Golf Estates, allowing us to showcase the Earth course to golf enthusiasts from all over the world – and introduce the equally stunning Fire course,” said Geoff Hunter, General Manager, Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Yas Links in Abu Dhabi is one of the regions newest courses and is now widely considered to be one of the best in the world as it was recently recognized in an industry ranking as one of the top 25 of the ‘World’s Best Courses Outside of America.’
Chris White, General Manager, commented; “This achievement is nothing short of incredible. The latest statistics state that there are over 33,000 golf courses worldwide – it is very hard to put into words the true meaning and value of this announcement until you look at the list of global courses Yas Links is now aligned with – the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has a true golfing gem.”
Discussing the regions recent record number of rounds Christopher May, General Manager of Dubai Golf said; “Despite being relatively new as a golfing destination in worldwide golfing terms, the United Arab Emirates really has established itself very quickly as a top class golfing destination. The recent record of over 50,000 rounds in a month is due to the commitment and contribution that has been made by every course in the region to providing premium facilities and delivering consistently exceptional levels of service to all golfers that choose to play on our courses. I am confident that we will build even further upon our recent successes and that the region will continue to go from strength to strength.”