Dubai was the first of the Gulf States to host European Tour competition with the launch of the Dubai Desert Classic in 1989, and 2009 saw the launch of The Race to Dubai, a season-long competition culminating in the Dubai World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Innovative, dynamic and bold, Dubai is an internationally renowned commercial centre and tourism destination. This cosmopolitan, multicultural hub is one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Home to some of the world’s most iconic offerings, including Burj Al Arab, the World and the Palm Islands and Burj Dubai, the city offers an array of attractions to excite even the most seasoned traveller. From dhows sailing majestically along Dubai Creek to high-end shopping, luxury hotels and futuristic skyscrapers, Dubai is an ultramodern metropolis. It is also home to some of the world’s top sporting events, from the Barclay’s Dubai Tennis Championship to the Dubai Rugby Sevens and the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race. The spotlight is now shining brightly on the city as an exciting new venue for world golf.
Abu Dhabi hosted its first European Tour event in 2006, when American Chris DiMarco won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, a tournament that has become established as the first on the early season Middle East swing. The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is an initiative of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and its Chairman, Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan. The Championship is a founding pillar in ADTA’s strategy to utilise high-visibility sports and events to increase the emirate’s international tourism. In addition to the National Course, host venue of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, other facilities include the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, designed by Gary Player. On the west shores of Yas Island, home to Abu Dhabi’s F1 circuit, the Yas Links Abu Dhabi Golf Course is designed by Kyle Phillips. In the city there is the 9-hole Abu Dhabi City Golf Club in the Al Mushrif area, and in Al Ain, the Palm Sports Resort boasts an 18-hole all-grass golf course.