Welcome to the 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship!
It is a fantastic feeling to be able to write those words, not only because our tournament marks the start of the global golfing season, but because I believe it is a significant step on the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – sportingly, socially and economically.
Hosting this tournament in 2021 is a true measure of the great things that can happen when people pull together with focus, purpose and positivity. I offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has been involved in the huge endeavour to deliver this tournament. From the players, to the green-keepers, to the support staff and many more who have managed this incredible task.
I extend a special Emirati welcome to the players who will be taking to the course this weekend and providing the Abu Dhabi Golf Club with its customary star-studded field.
Whether it be defending champion Lee Westwood, world stars Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood, or the European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, the outstanding field on show at this week’s tournament truly represents the best of the best, and is an inspiration for all the young golfers of the UAE to look up to.
Each of the fantastic players competing this week has their own story to tell and their own ambitions to fulfil, and I am delighted to see how they begin their season this weekend.
Our long-term partnership with golf has helped drive the game forward in the UAE, with world class sporting entertainment for the entire family, on and off the course, enabling us to introduce even more people to this wonderful game and make golf even more accessible.
Reflecting on what we have achieved together across these years of partnership encourages me to look forward to the future with confidence – especially in 2021 when the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee and we at HSBC celebrate 75 years of doing business here.
It is that confidence that I wish to channel today. The past year has been challenging - for business, for society and for the game of golf. But as the tournament this week shows, we are emerging from this difficult time with the opportunity to build back better than before. More connected. More open. More sustainable.
I hope you enjoy seeing the first steps of what should be an extremely positive year for both the game of golf, and for the UAE, play out this weekend.
And while I for one will certainly miss the roar of the passionate local crowd on the final day, I am certain that the 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be one of the most memorable sporting events of the year!
Group General Manager & CEO HSBC UAE