Who would have thought, decades ago, that in the middle of one of the most extreme deserts, several of the best and greenest golf courses in the world were going to develop? In a land of rich contrasts, this is really exceptional. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best proof that golf can be built up and played “almost” anywhere.
In the Middle East’s famous transition zone, the UAE emerges with a considerable force in the southeast of the Arabian peninsula, in the Persian Gulf. It is a federation made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaywayn. As a factor of wealth, oil marks the characteristics of each of the main cities in this region.
Dubai is the central attraction among the emirates, famous for its sumptuousness and the magnificent growth it experienced in recent decades. It is there where the most outstanding golf courses are found. The first design in the city was the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club. In fact, it was the first natural grass golf design in the Middle East. It was built in 1987 in the middle of the dunes, and since 1989 it has hosted one of the most important tournaments on the European Tour: the Dubai Desert Classic.
Due to the high temperatures in the UAE, it is recommended to play golf very early and with buggies. And avoid the summer months if possible. What is more, the vast majority of clubs organize simultaneous outings for all holes in the morning. This allows more golfers to have the opportunity to play during the best hours of the day. It is good to know that golfers have some limitations during the Ramadan season, especially in matters related to alcoholic beverages, meals, and smoking in public areas.
There are more than 25 golf courses in the UAE, and with our team of experts, we have chosen what we strongly consider to be the top five: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Emirates Golf Club (Majlis Course), Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course), Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and The Els Club.