DUBAI 29 May 2017: Golf lovers in the UAE are assured of having one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments on their doorstep for another three years after it was revealed that Jumeirah Golf Estates will remain the host venue of the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, until 2020.
News of the extension coincides with DP World’s commitment as title sponsor to the tournament, also until 2020, with the top 60 European Tour players set to tee it up at Jumeriah Golf Estates for the ninth time this year from November 16-19.
The Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, a member of the European Tour Properties network and branded as a European Tour Destination, has been the permanent home of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai for the last eight years and is a fitting finale for the concluding Rolex Series event of the season with a prize purse of US$8 million and the additional US$5 million Race to Dubai bonus pool.
Last year over 62,000 spectators flocked to the world-class venue to watch the action unfold, while global household TV reach exceeded 503 million.
Past champions include Lee Westwood (2009), Robert Karlsson (2010), Alvaro Quiros (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012 & 2015), Henrik Stenson (2013 & 2014) and defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick.
The venue encompasses two Greg Norman-designed Championship layouts in the Earth and Fire courses, a luxury residential golf community, a state-of-the-art clubhouse and the first European Tour Performance Institute in the Middle East which boasts world class training facilities for elite professional and amateur golfers alike.
Golf has been played in the UAE for more than 40 years and in Dubai, as recently highlighted in a report by Deloitte, it has grown into an industry worth $270 million a year.
The DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates with a prize fund of US$8million has also been the exciting final stage of the European Tour’s US$5million Race to Dubai since its inception in 2009.
From 2017, the Race to Dubai has received an added boost by being formally supported by Falcon Golf as a promotional partner of the Race to Dubai which includes 47 tournaments in 26 countries on the European Tour’s International Schedule with the overall objective of increasing awareness of the city as a world-leading, premium golf destination.
Tourism is a central pillar of Dubai’s economic growth and diversification efforts with the overall objective to increase visitor numbers to 20 million per year by 2020. Promoting Dubai as the preferred choice for international leisure and business travellers will ensure this strategy is a success.
Speaking to the media at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth – the inaugural Rolex Series event – Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The support of Jumeirah Golf Estates has been critical in the growth and development of the DP World Tour Championship over the past eight years and we are delighted they have reaffirmed their support until 2020.
“Jumeirah Golf Estates is a world class golfing facility and this new commitment will help us further develop a tournament fitting not only for the final Rolex Series event of the season, but also the climax of the Race to Dubai. As the premier golf and residential community in the UAE, it will also help continue to promote the game of golf in Dubai as a whole.”
Yousuf Kazim, CEO, Jumeirah Golf Estates, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with the European Tour until 2020. As the popularity of the DP World Tour Championship continues to grow each year, so too does Dubai’s reputation as the world class destination for golf tourism. Not only does hosting such a tournament underscore Dubai’s credentials as a global hub for international sport, it also provides a platform to tell Dubai’s story on a world stage and provides the perfect showcase to promote Golf at a grass roots level across the UAE.
Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2016 went to Sweden’s Henrik Stenson for the second time, and which since 2009 has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, as well as by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, said: “Golf’s international exposure and reputation as a global sport for all is one that fits with our direction as a business, enabling trade for nations across the world. Dubai has now become a leading destination for golf, with many world class courses, regularly attracting top players and contributing significantly to sport tourism in the UAE. We are delighted to continue our commitment to the grand finale of the Race to Dubai, the DP World Tour Championship, and look forward to the ongoing development and enjoyment of the sport across all generations.”
Peter Dawson, Chairman of Falcon Golf, the entity set up to optimise the benefits golf brings to the city that also manages Dubai’s sponsorship of the Race to Dubai, said: “Jumeirah Golf Estates, one of Dubai’s most prestigious golf and real estate communities, and DP World – through their support of the DP World Tour Championship – have made a significant contribution to making Dubai a world-leading premium golf destination and their continued commitment will be integral to the growth of the game and its increasing importance to the city.
“The Earth course has a reputation for delivering dramatic finales and providing a stage for the biggest stars to shine, making the tournament an incredible showcase of Dubai’s golf offering. It not only highlights that visitors can watch elite players up close, but also the extraordinary golfing experiences available. Few places in the world can offer tourists the chance to walk so easily in the footsteps of champions on courses designed by legends in perfect conditions.”
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Dubai is committed to continuously enhancing and expanding the visitor experience across all destination pillars and over the years, golf has become a major part of the emirate’s tourism offering – growing from strength to strength. Today, Dubai hosts some of the best global championships on our world-class golf courses and we are very pleased to host the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the European Tour’s season ending tournament and one of the biggest golf events in the world.”
By Sports Staff