Historic EGF and DP World Tour partnership set to give UAE players the chance to shine on global stage

The Emirates Golf Federation and DP World Tour has announced a long-term partnership which is aimed at developing the game in the UAE and will run until 2031. The new agreement will see a minimum of two new Challenge Tour events being staged in the United Arab Emirates from 2023, in which the EGF will receive 30 invitational spots per event. These spots can be used to trade with other Challenge Tour events on the schedule, giving the EGF invited players the experience of playing on the global stage.

The two organisations will collaborate across all levels of the sport in the UAE, from grassroots initiatives right through to the professional game, building on the Tour’s long-term association with the region which dates back to 1989.

The relationship with the UAE and DP World Tour has got even stronger over the last 12 months and this announcement is something many golf industry stakeholders in the region have wanted to happen for a while.

The UAE is home to some of the greatest professional events and courses in the world but we’ve never been able to establish a player on the DP World or PGA TOUR. The talent is growing in the region and these new spots will go a long way to give our local players the opportunity they need under real Tour pressure.

 

Tom Phillips, the European Tour group’s Head of Middle East, said: “Our special partnership with the Emirates Golf Foundation not only demonstrates the DP World Tour’s long-term commitment to developing golf in the United Arab Emirates, but also reflects the strength of the many relationships we enjoy in the country.

“We are delighted to confirm this partnership following our four hugely successful weeks in the UAE at the start of the year, delivering on the pledges we made at the launch of the DP World Tour in November.”

 

The relationship between the DP World Tour and the Emirates Golf Federation is deep rooted and alongside the three Rolex Series events in the UAE these new opportunities is equally as important in terms of growing the game at a grass roots level in the region. Young players now have a way to make a name for themselves without the pressure of going through the Qualifying School or the American college golf system.

 

General Abdullah Alhashmi, Vice-Chairman of the Emirate Golf Federation, said: “We have been working with the Tour for more than 30 years and with DP World’s involvement now with the Tour, it became even more important for us to work together for the future of golf in this region.

“This partnership will take us to the next level. Having two Challenge Tour events is an important part of this so we can exchange spots with other federations and take our players abroad. That is part of our vision to develop golf here and develop our players to compete in the professional game.

“Hopefully one day we will have a winner on the DP World Tour, but we need the gradual progress, and taking our players step by step through the Challenge Tour first is important. It will provide tournaments in this region to give players from the Arab world the chance to play at a higher level and compete against other players from different countries.”

One golfer that will certainly be exited by the announcement is Ahmad Skaik, the UAE’s number one player and a product of the Emirates Golf Federation’s junior golf development programme, said: “This is a very important partnership. It is great that the Tour and EGF are working together to give us more opportunities and to inspire the younger generations.

“It’s very good for the region and I am very excited about the future. For me, I am going to try to take every opportunity possible and play as many events as I can to get better and better.”

 

 

The announcement was also welcomed by DP World Tour players such as the Dubai Desert Classic Champion, Rafa Cabrera Bello, who commented: “Over the last 15 years since I’ve been coming to the UAE with the Tour, I’ve seen the courses get better and better, the events get bigger and bigger with more and more top names playing in them. So, we are getting it right and it’s just a matter of time before we see a top player come from the UAE. They have all the facilities and infrastructure, and golf is becoming more and more popular with the kids.

“The EGF is trying to support that rise as much as possible and to have this partnership with the DP World Tour can only be a good thing and it will help grow golf in the region.”

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