Rafa Cabrera Bello: Falcon Golf already making an impact in Dubai

It’s great to see the progress already being made since Falcon Golf officially began operating in February with the aim of maximising the opportunities and benefits the sport brings to Dubai. A new ‘Golf in Dubai’ website has been launched that will showcase what the emirate has to offer golf lovers.

There is so much choice, both for tourists and residents here, which makes it a great move to create a centralised online space where people can access all the information they need to get the most out of their time here.

 

Dubai has the finest courses

Dubai truly is a world-class golf destination. We have 11 of the finest courses on the planet here and it’s easy to see why golfing icons like Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Ernie Els chose to work on projects in the city.

The emirate also has three high quality tournaments in the DP World Tour Championship, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, and golf lovers who visit the region can follow in the footsteps of legendary past champions like Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, Rory McILroy, Sergio Garcia and Annika Sorenstam by playing at famous venues like Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates where, like all the clubs in the region, the service and hospitality are second to none.

Waterparks

All the courses are in fairly close proximity to each other so it’s easy to play more than one in a day and if the whole family are not golfers, there is so much to do away from the course with waterparks, theme parks, amazing restaurants, shopping malls – not to mention great beaches where I like to do some surfing when I’m not playing on Tour! The hotels here are also among the best in the world and some of them, such as the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, have courses attached to them so the golfers and the non-golfers can both be happy!

 

Bucket-list destination

Some of the most famous landmarks in the world are in Dubai such as the world’s most luxurious hotel, the Burj Al Arab, and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The images of Tiger hitting balls off the helipad at the Burj Al Arab in 2004 were beamed around the world and I’m sure they played a big role in sparking Dubai’s rise to prominence as a bucket-list destination for golf. He returned to the famous hotel to shoot another iconic video during this year’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic and it’s mind-blowing to think how much the region’s golf scene has developed in the 13 years since his first visit.

The weather conditions here are perfect for most of the year and even in the summer, you can play night golf under floodlights at places like The Track, Meydan and The Faldo at Emirates Golf Club.

DP World Tour Championship is a fitting finish in Dubai

We also have one of only two European Tour Performance Institutes at Jumeirah Golf Estates, host venue for our season-ending grand finale, the DP World Tour Championship and many of the players use the world-class facilities at the ETPI during the off-season or when they have a break in their schedule. Players like Rory McIlroy and Amy Boulden call Dubai their ‘home from home’ and as most of you know, I put down roots here last year. It was an easy choice for me to make, just as it was for many other players over the years such as Henrik Stenson, Thomas Bjørn and David Howell.

I read somewhere that economic impact of golf tourism on Dubai is about US$38 million every year. I’m sure that the efforts of Falcon Golf, and their new ‘Golf in Dubai’  website, will help to push that figure even higher.