Why Dubai loves golf

Dubai is a haven for golf, we asked a pro why the sport is such a draw

There has been a real drive in Dubai to make golf one of the most popular sports in the city over the years and thanks to the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and Omega Dubai Desert Classic, take-up is reaching record levels.

One man taking a keen interest in the sport’s progress here is Emirates Golf Club pro Stephen Deane, who has seen a golfing revolution since he arrived here in 2008.

“Golf in the UAE is a developing sport,” he tells Time Out. “The number of courses opening and the amount of students learning the game is increasing each year.

“Obviously it’s different to the UK, where the courses have lots of history and prestige. Dubai courses are modern, longer and sit better with the style of golf played in the current era.”

The Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club has been voted one of the top 100 in the world and the best in the Middle East. As the home of the Desert Classic, Deane believes it lives up to that billing.

“It’s a special course because of its history and it’s much more mature compared to other courses in the region,” he says. “Its design within the natural desert terrain is spectacular. My favourite hole is the eighth – the Dubai skyline in the background makes it a hole you’ll never forget playing.”

But with summer fast approaching, along with the searing heat, can you still play a round of golf?

“Certainly you can, but you have to be prepared,” says Deane. “Choosing either an early morning slot or late evening is recommended. We have the benefit of night golf on our Faldo course, which helps a lot. Fluid intake and keeping your energy levels up with the correct snacks is a must.”
Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Living, www.dubaigolf.com (04 417 9800).

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