There can be few recent tourism success stories to rival that of Dubai. Situated on the Persian gulf coast, it is the largest of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
Funded in large part by revenue from its vast oil reserves, Dubai underwent rapid urbanisation during the 21st century, transforming it from a small fishing destination into a cosmopolitan metropolis.
Today, it is home to the second most five-star hotels in the world; the tallest building in the world; the planet’s third busiest airport; and a string of other eye-popping records.
Tourism chiefs, meantime, have a stated goal of attracting 25 million visitors per year by 2025, which would see Dubai overtake Bangkok as the world’s most visited city.
All of which is a somewhat long-winded way of saying that if you haven’t considered Dubai as a holiday destination until now, you really should.
For golfers, Dubai ticks every box. Fantastic weather, easy to get to, exceptional accommodation, superb value for money, plenty to do outside of golf and, naturally, a selection of superb courses.
The Emirates Golf Club will be many people’s first choice. Its Majlis Course was the first 18-hole course to open in Dubai, back in 1988. The host venue for the Dubai Desert Classic every year since 1989 – with the exceptions of 1999 and 2000 – it is a formidable test of golf.
Just a stone’s throw from the airport, you’ll find Dubai Creek and Yacht Club. It opened in 1993 and is instantly recognisable by its distinctively sail-shaped clubhouse. The final two holes of the championship-standard course as are as good as you’ll find anywhere in this part of the world, with the eponymous creek guarding the entire left-hand side of both. If you can play them without dropping a shot, you’ll be doing very, very well.
Elsewhere, Jumeirah Golf Estates is home to two terrific tracks. Those who follow the DP World Tour will already be familiar with the Earth Course, the Greg Norman-designed layout that plays host to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. Norman also turned his hand to the Fire Course, which is a superb complement to its sister course.
Scotland’s own Colin Montgomerie – a winner of the Dubai Desert Classic in 1996 – is another top player to have designed a course in this part of the world. The Montgomerie Club Dubai is billed as a place “where golf meets magnificence” and it’s hard to argue.
Then there’s Trump International Golf Club Dubai, a Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner design that sprawls out over 500 acres with a links-style feel. It’s got huge fairways and massive bunkers - lots of fun. There’s also the JA Resort, not to mention night golf under the floodlights on the Faldo Course at the Emirates Golf Club, or Topgolf Dubai for those who want to hit shots in a more relaxed environment.
Your next question is how to get there, right? Look no further than Viya Golf Holidays. They can organise all aspects of your trip, from tee times to accommodation. Whether you want to stay somewhere ‘cheap and cheerful’ in the centre of Dubai, fancy pushing the boat out and enjoying an aquarium room in the Atlantis Hotel, or like the sound of multiple Michelin-starred dining in the iconic Burj al Arab, they can make it happen.
Everybody’s talking about Dubai. It’s time to join the conversation.