Everything you need to know about Dubai's striking new golf and leisure haunt
1 The course is pristine Put simply, the 18-hole, par 71 golf course at Trump International Golf Club Dubai, in Damac Hills, is something to behold. One thing Dubai golf courses do extremely well is present stunning aesthetics, and Trump International is in line with local standards. The greens are lush, the fairways are soft and the lakes are blue and clear, which makes for a stunning sight when hacking around for four-and-a-half hours (or fewer if you’re on the nine-hole par three training course). Sure, the trees are young and the surrounding scenery is evidently a bit immature, but bear in mind the course only opened four months ago. Golf courses can take more than ten or 20 years to mature, and the seeds have literally been sewn to create a verdant and vibrant course in the not-too-distant future.
2 It’s accessible to all handicaps We won’t profess to being scratch, single-digit or even sub-20 handicappers, but this course is challenging, yet forgiving, in equal measure. It has been designed to mimic classic links courses from around the world, so expect a different golfing experience from many UAE courses, including wide, sweeping and undulating fairways, steep bunkers and multi-level greens. Oh, and water, plenty of water.
3 It is opulence personified If there’s one thing that won’t surprise anyone to hear, it’s that this place is grandiose, and verges on decadent. The course, clubhouse and resort in general prides itself on white-glove service, and it’s evident throughout. The clubhouse is a 30,000 square foot ode to style and luxury, and is appropriately reflected in its crescent-shaped architecture. Pretty much everything has a gold or marble trim, but its grandiosity is almost ineffable in that it just cannot fully be described, but is so very apparent.
Upon arrival at the course, guests are rarely troubled by the mundanity of doing things for themselves. Staff are on hand at every turn to make the experience feel as exclusive and luxurious as possible. From obligatory valet parking, to golf bag and buggy preparation, to shoe cleaning and even catering mid-round from a mobile cart dishing out refreshments, sandwhiches and free ice creams during the hottest part of the day, guests are invited to indulge in a day of being treated. Even the lockers are personalised – a small, but very nice, touch.
4 Of course, it’s not all just about the golf It would be a bold move for any modern golf resort to make a course 100 percent about the play. Most, if not all, successful new clubs come with the usual peripherals, and Trump International is no different.
The sleek and imposing clubhouse features four food and beverage outlets. The Terrace serves classic American dishes through the day, ranging from a quick coffee and pastry to a menu of stone-baked pizzas made in a clay oven. Outside, there’s a sprawling terrace overlooking the practise green and first tee with comfortable, low-slung chairs and tables for al fresco dining.
Meanwhile, the Ninth Sports Café is open to players stopping off for a mid-round refreshment, as well as light snacks and classic dishes. And there are plenty of TVs showing the latest sport. Assana, on the top floor, provides a more traditional Arabian feel with a menu of light and authentic mezze dishes. It also has a shisha lounge and boasts views across the course.
The flagship outlet at Trump International is Fifth Avenue, an homage to gourmet Italian fare mixed with the glamour of 1920s Manhattan. It is promoted as being a reminder of the golden era of decadence, where even the chairs are made of polished marble, velvet and leather with a brushed gold finish. The menu is full of Mediterranean influences, and the restaurant prides itself on being a sophisticated spot for a truly fine dining experience.
5 Expect a thorough workout Accompanying the course and its variety of dining options are additional leisure facilities, which include an infinity pool on the top floor offering up panoramic views of the course and Dubai skyline, while a fitness centre offers golfers the opportunity to get into prime shape for the start of the winter season. State-of-the-art equipment and golfing-specific personal training sessions are available to help guests get into the right physical condition to make the most of their time on the course…
6 It houses a very Trump-orientated golf shop As expected, the pro shop at Trump International features an array of branded golfing equipment for those who fancy getting their hands on some visibly Trump-branded mementos.
7 It does all of this because it wants to be the best It might be a case of nominative determinism, but it’s not at all surprising that the Trump course wants to trump all others in Dubai. It invites you to enjoy a life of leisure and luxury on world-class facilities at “Dubai’s most magnificent golf course”. Bigly. Now that is a claim Trump International Golf Club Dubai has to be able to justify. Magnificent? Perhaps. Most magnificent? That’s too tough to call. Trump International Golf Club Dubai, Damac Hills, Near Arabian Ranches, www.trumpgolfdubai.com (04 245 3939).
Trump International Golf Course 7,205 The total amount in yards around the par 71, 18-hole course. You’d better be wearing comfortable shoes.
995 The amount in dirhams it costs to play 18 holes at the weekend during peak season.
27 Total number of holes available to play at the course across the 18-hole and 9-hole academy course.
4 The total number of restaurants and bars. These are The Terrace, The Ninth Sports Café, Assana and Fifth Avenue.