In Dubai, golf season is in full swing from October. With 18 world-class courses across the UAE, all within easy reach, and 13 within Dubai itself, golfers are spoiled for choice. As hosts of major tournaments, championship courses Earth at Jumeirah Golf Estates and Faldo and Majlis at Emirates Golf Club, are seen on TV around the world.
“The Majlis is a very special golf course to so many people,” says Christopher May, CEO of Dubai Golf, Emirates Golf Club’s management company. “It's the first grass golf course in the Middle East. It was built in 1987 and it's been central to the growth of golf in the region, hosting the annual Dubai Desert Classic every year since 1988.”
Golfing legends to leave Dubai with a trophy in their suitcase include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Stephen Gallacher. Paul Casey, Lucas Herbert, Bryson DeChambeau, Minjee Lee and Nuria Iturrioz are among the most recent winners.
Dubai is renowned for five-star hospitality and premium dining and viewing experiences are available alongside free general admission for golf spectators. The star-studded golfing calendar opens each year with the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic ladies’ tournament (27 October 2021), played on the Faldo course.
The season-long Race to Dubai – a competition to crown the European Tour’s number one player – climaxes with the DP World Tour Championship (18 to 21 November 2021) on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. The biggest event of all, the nail-biting Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic (27 to 30 January 2022), is played on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club. Part of the Rolex Series from 2022, the prize fund of 6.8million euros attracts the golfing world’s leading players.
You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy Dubai’s golf courses. Outside of tournaments, courses are open to all players.
“We have so many good golf courses. We've got 18-hole golf courses designed by signature golfers, such as Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Ian Baker-Finch,” says Mark Chapleski, Executive Vice-President of golf club management company Troon International. “Also, you will not find a better place for weather from November to the end of April – some of the best weather in the world.”
In addition to the 18-hole courses, there are nine-hole options, including floodlit courses at The Track Meydan Golf and Trump International Golf Club allowing for rounds to be played at night. Also open day and night, TopGolf is a driving range with a difference. Players hit micro-chipped balls at an outfield of giant dartboard-like targets to score points. Inside, there’s crazy golf for kids, and bars and restaurants.
Après golf is thriving in Dubai, with luxury hotels and award-winning restaurants rewarding players with gourmet cuisine, spa treatments and golf course-facing suites. Award-winning Carine is a stalwart of the golf set, helmed by acclaimed local chef Izu Ani. New to the scene is The Orangery, an eclectic eatery inspired by the adventure of Phileas Fogg where ‘fish and chips’ is, in fact, a generous scoop of caviar served on a quenelle of smoked fish mousse with a side of multi-coloured potato crisps. With courses this jolly, the so-called ‘19th hole’ should never be missed.