Our columnist gets very excited about golf developments in Dubai and is already looking forward to the World Cup next year.
So summer is almost here. And when we all get back, be prepared for a little golf mania, because there will be plenty of it. Not only do we have the yearly DP World Tour Championship in November, which is the conclusion of the Race to Dubai, we’ll also have the Ladies Masters. Then in early 2014, the usual desert swing – Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic – will grace the calendar. The two UAE events will sandwich the Qatar Masters, and one more, a new European Tour event in Oman, will begin in 2014 too. All that on top of the new Donald Trump course opening in the same year. Dubai was voted Golf Destination of the year at the 2012 International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), and with the addition of Trump in the region, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another award.
The Trump International Golf Club will be an 18 hole PGA Championship course. Planned to be 7,205 yards long, the par 71 course will sit 10 minutes from Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubailand. Already the owner of 14 courses around the world, this will be the property tycoon’s first in Asia, and facilities will include a huge clubhouse and spa. All very impressive. Who’s with me for a golfing trip to each and every one of the Trump courses!? That’s summer 2014 sorted. Oh, hang on, there’s also the World Cup in Brazil. The summer of 2014 will be busy, but we can easily fit it all in.
One man who has recently been in the UAE playing a little golf is former football manager Ron Atkinson, or ‘Big Ron’ as he’s better known. The former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager says Dubai is his ‘favourite place in the world’ and also enjoyed last summer here while Euro 2012 was on. I managed to have a chat with him about the latest Premier League season. He says that it ‘disappointed’ him slightly and that it hasn’t been as good as previous seasons. Not surprising really, considering Manchester United was unchallenged, with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea failing to live up to hype. Maybe we all needed a breather after last season’s last-minute win from City. But it’s always good to get Atkinson’s thoughts. I’m sure he’ll be back to try out the Trump course next year.
Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.
And another thing…
The Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix may well be in November but considering summer is almost upon us, that really isn’t far away. Depeche Mode have been announced for the Sunday night concert and there are already a few rumours about other contenders. Tip: get your tickets before the end of May for 20 percent off.