Regarded as the oldest and most established club amongst the now numerous golf clubs that sit in the shadows of the ever developing skyline of Dubai, Emirates Golf Club still commands the respect it has earned over the years and remains to this day the original ‘desert miracle’.
The Bedouin tents that are symbolised in the clubhouse design are a familiar sight on worldwide and have become the accepted image of golf in Dubai. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum can be held accountable for creating this architectural and golfing icon, which became the driving force for a series of super clubs that would propel Dubai into the world’s golfing spotlight.
Emirates Golf Club boasts two 18-hole championship courses. Both lie amongst a plethora of sand dunes, on a site originally donated by Sheikh Mohammed. Within a year of opening, the newly christened Majlis, a 7,301-yard Par-72 layout hosted the inaugural Dubai Desert Classic in February 1989. This event, often referred to as the ‘jewel in the crown’ on the European Tour has returned a further 15 times since and boasts a host a world renowned champions such as Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods and this year’s champion, Dubai-based Henrik Stenson.
The sprinklers on the Majlis course keep the Bermuda grass growing, alongside the indigenous desert flora, giving a picturesque contrast. The lush fairways and large greens provide a formidable test of golf, guaranteeing a magnificent finish on the 18th hole, a long dog-leg, which has seen as many inspirational finishes as watery disasters in its 19 year history. Other course highlights include the par three 7th and the gruelling par four 8th. The Majlis is equally playable by leading tournament professionals and the average weekend golfer.
The second course at Emirates Golf Club is the Wadi by Faldo. A visual delight with distinctive bunkering that is visible from the tee all the way to the green, The Wadi Course provides a test for both experienced and lesser golfers. A unique feature to this course is the wadi (from the Arabic word valley) itself that meanders its way through the length of the course, featuring a striking roughed up edge that adds character to the course. Measuring 7,328 yards, ‘The Wadi by Faldo’ is a real ‘thinkers’ course. There are great rewards waiting for those who strategically plot their way around, with a premium on accuracy.
Members and guests can relax and enjoy spectacular views of the courses and desert from the five-star Le Classique restaurant, whose head chef was voted the best in Dubai in 2004 and 2007. With more informal dining options available in The Spike Bar, The Conservatory and The Sports Bar, all tastes are well catered to. In addition to fine dining, a host of other sports including: tennis and squash are available as well as a swimming pool with its very own bar.
The Emirates Golf Academy is run in association with internationally renowned Peter Cowen, who is regarded as one of the best coaches in Europe. The academy is based around the two floodlit driving ranges, two short-game areas and the 9-hole Par-3 Course.
Emirates Golf Club, owned and managed by Dubai Golf, is the ‘St Andrews’ of golf in the Middle East. With two championship grass courses, and worldwide fame thanks, it still has every right to call itself number one.
Address: PO Box 24040, Dubai, UAE.
Course details: Majlis – par 72, 7,301 yards; Wadi - par 72, 7,328 yards
Did you know? The Wadi course was re-designed by six-time Major winner Nick Faldo and re-opened in October 2006
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