28 Apr 2023

Abdullah Al Naboodah: It’s an honour to join the Board of Directors at the European Tour group

Golf has been part of my daily life for the last 20 years and it has been incredibly humbling and rewarding to watch the sport grow and develop in the Middle East during that time.

Not a day has passed when I haven’t spoken or thought about the game. Either I have been convincing someone to take up golf, or I’ve been talking about tournaments or grass roots projects that I’ve been involved in.

It’s been a great journey and I have met so many people who I probably wouldn’t have met without golf. From a social or business perspective, golf is an important part of what I do.

My relationship with the European Tour group goes back about 14 years now. During that time, I’ve got to know many people who work in the organisation, so, I’ve always had an
unofficial working relationship with the Tour. Through that, I’ve always been kept updated about what is going on, so when the Chairman Eric Nicoli extended the invitation to join the Board of Directors it was an honour and something I was very keen to accept.

I have always viewed the Tour as an outstanding sporting organisation, and golf is a wonderful sport. The Tour has been coming to this region since the late 1980s and has developed very strong ties with the Middle East, so it’s important for the region to have a voice in the Tour, and I’m very proud to be that voice now as part of the Board.

Increasing engagement in the Middle East is a key focus for the Tour and I think we have a great opportunity to do that and also develop golf at both the professional and amateur level. At the time of writing, we’re in the middle of two consecutive Challenge Tour events in Abu Dhabi which I’ve helped support through my company Phoenix Capital, and I think the Challenge Tour presents a great opportunity for us to expand in this region and take the game to new countries. Hopefully this will lead to DP World Tour events in the future and give the venues and organisations involved the chance to gain experience of staging tournaments.

Challenge Tour events will also give players from the Middle East playing opportunities and the chance to develop and test themselves against professionals from elsewhere in the world.

There is a lot of work taking place amongst the amateur federations in the Middle East to promote golf, and we want to push these promising amateur players to play in Challenge
Tour and DP World Tour events. That is how you engage people and increase the golf population.

I’m really looking forward to working with the other Board members and the staff at the Tour to help us achieve these aims. I know many of them already and many of the players
too, and I’m also looking forward to learning from their experience. Many of them have been involved in golf and the Tour far longer than me.

From my perspective, I will bring all of my network and all my own experience from across the Middle East to help the European Tour group.There is a strong opportunity for the Tour to continue to own commercial expansion in this region. DP World is a fantastic partner for the Tour to have and it’s headquartered in Dubai and owned by the Dubai Government.

I see that partnership, and those kind of relationships, growing in the future. I’m looking forward to being part of that process and in particular, bringing more Challenge Tour and DP World Tour events to the Middle East.

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