Henrik Stenson takes a selfie with his fellow competitors at LA The Resort Lake Side Hotel
Henrik Stenson takes a selfie with his fellow competitors at LA The Resort Lake Side Hotel Image Credit: Matthew Smith/Gulf News

Dubai boys Rafa Cabrera Bello and Adri Arnaus ready for big UAE swing

Rafa Cabrera Bello is ready to take his near-miss at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to the next level as the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic tees off on Thursday.

The Dubai-based Spaniard, who missed out to Thomas Pieters by a stroke in the UAE capital on Sunday, took time out to speak to Gulf News at a charity event at JA Lake View Hotel in Dubai.

The Rooftop Charity Challenge saw Rafa compete alongside fellow Dubai resident Adri Arnaus, Open champs Charl Schwartzel and Henrik Stenson, Masters king Danny Willett and US amateur hotshot Sam Bennett alongside stars such as Scotland’s Grant Forrest.

“To even be here is great. I got so close but just missed out to Thomas Pieters on Yas Links in Abu Dhabi,” Cabrera Bello said at the charity event on Monday. "We have another huge Rolex Series event this week in Dubai and I hope to keep up the momentum. We are so lucky to have these events back-to-back in the UAE and we have four weeks in one location, really.”

He is, of course, referring to the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, which is followed for the first time by back-to-back DP World Tour events in Ras Al Khaimah.

“To spend time at home over a long period and stay with they family — they follow me everywhere but sometimes they cannot travel — and to get to your own bed in Dubai is great for a period of time. This is such a great way to start the season in the UAE.”

Another Dubai resident, Adri, is also relishing some competition at ‘home’.

“I just finished up in Abu Dhabi and now I can play in Dubai.” he said. “It is great knowing I am not flying here there and everywhere as the next two weeks will be in the UAE also. I cannot wait.”

Rafa and Adri will both be competing in the Dubai Desert Classic, and Scotland’s Grant Forrest is also looking to make an impact.

“We love coming out here from the cold of Scotland at this time of year and will certainly be looking to get up the leaderboard.”

On the evening, Paul Casey secured Dh15,000 for the Al Jalili Foundation as his shots off the rooftop of the JA Lake View hotel took top prize.