In a glittering ceremony in the Algarve, Portugal, to honour the best golfing destinations around the world, Dubai, for the third time in a decade, walked away with the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ Destination of the Year Award for Africa, Gulf States and the Indian Ocean.
Out of IAGTO’s 470 core specialist golf tour operators based in 59 countries, 455 voted for Dubai as the best golfing destination for the region. Dubai previously won the award in 2009, having also received the Emerging Golf Destination of the Year award in 2002.
The award formed the culminating moment of DTCM’s highly successful participation in the 2012 International Golf Travel Market. DTCM’s exhibit brought together the top golf clubs in the Emirate to showcase the exceptional diversity Dubai has to offer as a golfing destination.
DTCM Director General Khalid bin Sulayem said: “This award is a testament to the real efforts exerted by the UAE’s golf courses and clubs in order to provide an exceptional experience to their guests. The infrastructure of golf tourism in Dubai has witnessed exceptional growth development during the past few years, which has both enhanced the competitive elements and added to the distinctive nature of Dubai as tourist destination.”
Hamad M. bin Mejren, DTCM Executive Director of Business Tourism, added: “The DTCM is proud to receive the award for Dubai, which has clinched the best golf destination award for the third time in a decade. This highlights the genuinely successful golf industry in Dubai. In a very short period of time the city, technically a novice in golfing, has come at par with cities with a much older reputation as golfing destinations. There are several more projects in the pipeline to maintain, and further improve, the playing facilities in the region, with the vision of providing an even richer, more fulfilling, and truly luxurious international golfing experience.”
The United Arab Emirates has been welcoming golfers since 1988 when the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club, often referred to as The Desert Miracle, became the first grass course to open in the region. In the 24 years that has followed, Dubai has introduced a host of world-class golf courses, with the Emirates Golf Club set to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year and the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club its 20th.
Dubai has also become a major destination on the regional and international golf tour circuit, welcoming the world’s very best players to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club, in addition to the prestigious DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the season finale of the European Tour that is held on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.