Dubai set to become the golf capital of the ME

Bird’s eye view of Emirates Golf Club

Cedric Scherer, business development manager at Arabian Adventures, spoke to TTN’s JONNA SIMON about golfing holidays in the UAE.

Where do most golfing holiday participants come from?
There’s a mix of incoming visitors, with the majority coming from the UK, followed by the rest of Europe. Arabian Adventures handles over 250 golf trips per year, which are booked through tour operators specialising in golfing packages, mainly from the Netherlands and the UK.
Japanese and South Korean visitors are very keen on playing golf, but it is difficult to give an accurate estimate, as a majority are coming on business trips and will add a round of golf after their meetings are over.

Is there a high season for golf during the year?
Demand does slow down slightly during the summer months due to the heat and humidity. Overseas players tend to play golf during the winter season between October and April.

Which are the “golfers’ hotels” in Dubai?
One of the advantages of golf holidays in Dubai is the constantly growing number of golf courses, which means there are always 18 holes close to your hotel. Any hotels in and around Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina side give easy access to Emirates Golf Club, The Montgomerie, the Arabian Ranches and the upcoming Jumeirah Golf Estates with its four signature courses designed by Greg Norman in collaboration with other golf pros.
The Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club and the Four Seasons Golf Club are within 10 minutes of most hotels on the Deira side of the city.
There are further projects under development within Dubailand with the already open Ernie Els Golf Club leading the way. We estimate another 10 clubs in various stages of feasibility study or construction. Dubai is very much on its way to becoming the true capital of golf within the region not just because of the number of courses, but especially due to the very high standards each course is designed by.

Are convention delegates including golf on their itineraries and is this an incentive when persuading meeting organisers to choose Dubai?
Convention programmes for delegates are usually very tight and do not leave much free time for golf. However, there are instances, where a golf tournament may be set up by the conference organisers for networking opportunities or for local charities.

Has Arabian Adventures had golfers from far flung destinations?
Yes, we have had several leisure groups of golfers coming from Australia and since Emirates Airline started direct flights to Sao Paulo, we have registered a keen interest from Brazilian golfers.
Arabian Adventures has negotiated rates with every golf club all over the UAE enabling us to build tailor made packages for individuals as well as for groups. For overseas golfers we recommend that they approach one of our tour operator partners, who will be able to include our top quality ground services.
Locally, players can contact one of our representatives in the hotels or at our main office on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai to book a round of golf at the course of their choice.