Haya Ghassan Alsulaiman is the owner of GOLFTEC Dubai
Haya Ghassan Alsulaiman is the owner of GOLFTEC Dubai Image Credit: GOLFTEC

Meet Haya Ghassan Alsulaiman, the first and only female golf business owner in the UAE, who is hoping to introduce more females to the game through a range of initiatives at GOLFTEC, an indoor golf instruction and club fitting operation which uses state-of-the-art technology to provide feedback-and fact-based learning.

Gulf News caught up with the Saudi national to find out more about her business and what initiatives are in place to get more women and juniors into the game.

It was a brave move to leave Saudi and come to Dubai to set up a golf business on your own, what prompted you to take such a step?

Leaving Saudi Arabia to establish a golf business in Dubai was indeed a bold decision, but it was driven by a combination of factors. Firstly, the UAE is currently the leading country in the Middle East in the golf scene and has a well-established golf market offering promising opportunities for growth and success in the golf industry. Secondly, my passion for golf and the recognition of a gap in the market propelled me to take this step. I saw an opportunity to introduce innovative concepts and services that’s provided by GOLFTEC to the growing demand for premium golf experiences in the region.

Dubai has a very well-established golf industry, how are you going about carving a niche for GOLFTEC?

GOLFTEC differentiates itself by leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide personalized coaching and training solutions. Using AI technology, we utilize tools like motion sensors, video analysis, and data-driven insights to offer unparalleled instruction tailored to each golfer's unique needs. We cater to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals. We also provide club fitting to make sure each individual has the right equipment to play better golf.

GOLFTEC uses state-of-the-art technology to provide feedback-and fact-based learning
GOLFTEC uses state-of-the-art technology to provide feedback-and fact-based learning Image Credit: GOLFTEC

What makes Dubai the perfect location for your business?

Dubai serves as an ideal location for a GOLFTEC center due to its vibrant golfing culture, business-friendly environment, strategic geographic positioning, and diverse demographic. With a strong community of golf enthusiasts, world-class courses, and a steady influx of affluent residents and tourists, Dubai offers ample opportunities for GOLFTEC to thrive.

The best way to grow a sport is to get more kids interested in it, what are you doing to attract junior golfers?

We are working with other local businesses to create a full summer program for the juniors and we also have special offers running throughout the year. We are planning to target schools to setup programs for their students but that’s still under process, so hopefully we will be teaching more kids in the future.

What makes GOLFTEC a good teaching methodology and venue for kids to learn the game?

GOLFTEC is compelling for juniors for several reasons. Firstly, its innovative teaching methodology, which integrates state-of-the-art technology such as motion sensors and video analysis, appeals to tech-savvy young golfers. This interactive approach provides real-time feedback, making learning engaging and effective, facilitating faster learning and skill development. Secondly, GOLFTEC's personalized coaching approach ensures that instruction is tailored to each child's unique abilities, learning style, and goals, fostering a supportive and encouraging environment that promotes confidence and enjoyment of the game. Furthermore, because the business model of GOLFTEC is opening centers within the city, for parents, it makes much more sense to take their kids to a relatively close, safe and controlled environment, that’s also placed near other businesses so that parents can entertain themselves until their child finishes their short 30 minutes lesson. For example, our location in Dubai is in City Walk which is an outdoor mall, so our facility is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, shops and has plenty of parking, making this journey easy and convenient for both the students and their families.

Tell us about your partnership with the Emirates Golf Federation?

The EGF have visited and experienced our GOLFTEC center, they were impressed with the technology and our facility. They support us as much as they can by promoting us in their events and recommending our services to their members.

Being an indoor golf facility, presumably summer is a key period for you in Dubai where it’s extremely hot for people to play or take lessons outside – what have you got planned for the summer months?

For summer, we have 50% off Swing Evaluation which is the introductory session to the GOLFTEC program. In addition, we have up to 20% off lesson packages and the first 18 get a free 18-hole round of golf with their purchase.

Tell us about your own golf journey, how did you fall in love with the sport?

I grew up playing tennis all my life with my family, and by the time I was good enough to able to play competitively with my father, he injured his knee and had to switch to a different sport. He then chose golf and started taking lessons at a GOLFTEC center next to our summer home in California. My younger sister joined him as his caddy at first and then he encouraged her to take up lessons with him to start playing on course together. I was curious to understand what the hype is around this sport, so I decided to try it out and join them. Our weekly summer routine was to go take a lesson at GOLFTEC, then take the learnings to the range 2 days after and then follow that with a round of golf at one of the stunning courses near us. It just started off as a family bonding sport, but quickly turned into an obsession!

You’re also keen to introduce more women to the game, Women’s Golf Day is just around the corner, do you have any plans for that?

Absolutely, as part of our commitment to promoting inclusivity and diversity in golf, we're excited to participate in Women's Golf Day. We have several plans in place to celebrate and encourage more women to join the game. Firstly, we'll be hosting special events and clinics tailored specifically for women, providing opportunities for them to learn and improve their golf skills in a supportive and welcoming environment. Additionally, we'll be offering promotional packages to attract women to our GOLFTEC center, emphasizing the benefits of personalized coaching and cutting-edge technology in enhancing their golfing experience. Overall, Women's Golf Day presents a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our commitment to empowering women in golf and to inspire more females to embrace the game with confidence and enthusiasm.