News Details

Golf in Dubai

Sat, October 21, 2017

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Over 440,000 rounds of golf are played annually across Dubai’s nine prestigious clubs, which between them boast 11 golf courses and an estimated accumulated annual revenue of 500 million AED, accounting for 25% of the revenue of all sports in Dubai. This figure is mainly comprised of resident green fees, food and beverage and membership fees.

There are approximately 6,000 golfers residing in Dubai from a population of 2.7 million, this equates to a population per course (PPC) of over 245,000. To give you some perspective, outperforming popular golfing destinations such as Spain have 134,000 people per course (PPC), while the UK manages 23,000 and the US, 20,000. This makes Dubai’s competition stiff and highly concentrated. Many would also argue that the quality of golf courses in Dubai is un-matched globally for such a small geographical area. Here in Dubai, we are lucky enough to drive 45 minutes in any direction and be able to access one of nine five-star facilities.

It’s not all down to the expat population however, approximately 40,000 rounds are played each year by 16,000 international visitors, which of course has a large ripple effect into hotel, airline and leisure expenditure, adding to the macro economy of Dubai. A study recently conducted by Deloitte on ‘Economic impact of sport in Dubai’ put this rippled value at 481 million AED.

The spotlight shines on the sport here too, with Dubai being home to three major televised international tournaments, including the grand final of the European Tours calendar – the DP World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, plus we have the heritage of the Omega Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. This is of course not forgetting the Ladies Masters, which is an iconic event in the Ladies European Tour calendar every December.  

As if this wasn’t enough, there are currently a further three golf courses in the pipeline to be added to Dubai’s armoury by 2018. The Trump Organization is expanding their current Middle East portfolio with the anticipated opening of Trump World, designed by Tiger Woods, plus the expansion of Emaar’s golf portfolio with the addition of Dubai Hills and Dubai South golf clubs - new real estate master developments from local powerhouses Emaar and DAMAC. Investors and residents in Dubai have now become accustomed to golf course landscapes to add value and character to their properties and it’s refreshing to see golf echoing the local economy’s rapid growth.

The price of all this? On average a winter weekend green fee in the emirate will currently set you back around 695 AED, with the premium being over 1100 AED. This can provide a barrier to entry for beginners and golfers with less disposable incomes, and with Dubai only receiving 12 hours of sunlight a day it can be hard to sneak in the evening 'after work' rounds for preferential rates or leave the family on the weekends. In response to this, at BBG Dubai, we have developed the BBG Golf Sixes to combat the everyday challenge of cost, availability and access limitations of golf in Dubai. This concept has already helped both novice and keen golfers tee it up on the best holes in the city – a professional, affordable, quick, fun, and competitive competition showcasing Dubai’s greatest golf courses.

We believe it’s time golf took a new grip. 6 events, 6 holes, 6 opponents, 6 golf courses. 1 winner. See what you think!


Written by Nathan Gatland, Business Through Golf Focus Chair