With the BMW Golf Cup World Final all set to start tomorrow at Jumeirah Golf Estates, we sat down to have a chat with Ayhan Olcer, CEO of BMW AGMC based here in Dubai and servicing the Dubai and Northern Emirates territory.
GULF NEWS: Tell us about yourself first: how long have you been in the region, what’s your history with BMW – and do you play golf?
Ayhan: I’ve been with BMW for more than 20 memorable years, with the last four being located in the UAE. With so many beautiful golf courses in this country, it was inevitable that I would one day start to learn how to play golf, which is the stage I find myself at now.
GN: BMW has a long association with golf tournaments through title sponsorship and the provision of courtesy cars and much more. Can you tell us about BMW AGMC’s involvement with golf in the region?
Ayhan: Dubai truly has a number of fantastic world-class golf courses that both professional and amateur players love to play, and the city is now recognised, arguably, as the modern epicentre of the golfing world. AGMC has been very lucky to sponsor some of the biggest tournaments in the region such as the season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, which we’ve supported for more than 10 years now. The Dubai Desert Classic and the Dubai Moonlight Classic, both of which are held at Emirates Golf Club, are hugely popular events that we’re delighted to sponsor, too. Furthermore, AGMC organises an annual BMW Golf Cup tournament specially for BMW owners as well as the Rolls-Royce Pro-Am for Rolls-Royce customers. We also sponsor various golf clubs across the UAE including Emirates Golf Club, Montgomerie Golf Club and Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club. As that list shows you, I feel AGMC is really embedded with golf in this region.
GN: Why do you think BMW and golf have such synergy?
Ayhan: BMW and golf have had a close and successful relationship for decades, largely due to the fact that many BMW owners are also big golf fans. I think it’s a natural fit because BMW is a premier brand, just like golf is a premier sport, and the pursuit of excellence and precision is a huge area of commonality for both. Plus, we make a range of highly technical and stylish golf clothing in our BMW Golfsport Collection that marries precision and function.
GN: What is BMW AGMC’s reason for investment in golf?
Ayhan: As well as partnering with golf’s premier event, The Ryder Cup, we are also a Tour Partner of the European Tour. Our passion for golf shines through in Dubai, a hub for all kinds of major sporting events, where AGMC is continuing to promote this same vision. Golf is a worldwide sport played by millions of people, and therefore I feel it really shares our global vision.
GN: The BMW Golf Cup World Final is coming to Dubai next week. What can you tell us about this tournament?
Ayhan: The BMW Golf Cup has been contested since 1995 and is something we’re really proud of. It’s the biggest international amateur tournament in the world and sees around 100,000 male and female golfers from approximately 50 countries compete to reach the World Final, which this year takes place in Dubai. AGMC is very lucky that BMW is bringing this prestigious finale to Dubai next week at Jumeirah Golf Estates, making it a Dubai Calendar event with the support of Dubai Tourism – it should be a great event.
GN: Thank you Ayhan for your time and good luck with your golf.