Dubai is just three weeks away from having the DP World Tour’s best golfers set foot on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the 2023 DP World Tour Championship.
But what does it take to host the $10 million season finale on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex?
Gulf News exclusively had behind-the-scenes access to the going’s on with the DP World Tour Middle East team, as preparations are almost complete for the events milestone 15th edition.
“Preparations are looking really good, we're really into the final stretch” said Tom Phillips, Head of Middle East for DP World Tour. “Everything is taking shape on the golf course. All the plans and promotions off the golf course are taking shape and tickets are in high demand. So we're really excited.
“We have Jon Rahm coming back to defend his title of the DP World Tour Championship and we have Rory McIlroy coming back to defend his title as a Race To Dubai Champion. We’ve announced several other members of the winning European Ryder Cup team. So in total, we will have 10 of the 12 members of the team who were victorious in Rome.”
Freddie Schmeisser, Head of Championships DP World Tour Middle East explained the logistical side to planning the event. “The planning starts actually on the day after the tournament the previous year. When we wrap it up, we already start the plans for this year's event.
“We start the build actually at the end of August. So this is nearly a three month build. A lot of structures have to go up not only here on the 18th green, but also on the golf course. So it's a lot of work that goes on. A lot of infrastructure has to be set up, parking, transportation, logistics etc.
Pre-planning is vital
“The most important thing is very good pre-planning. The second thing is a very good team, only with a good team you can actually achieve what we are achieving here. We have very strong team based here in Dubai. Over 20 staff are now based in the Dubai office working for the DP World Tour in the Middle East.”
As Freddie showed me around the 18th green, where everything unfolds on the Sunday, the size of the operation was clear to see.
“The structures here you can see are the championship chalet where most of our sponsors are. Then on the left side of the 18th fairway, we have the private chalets of some of our big partners, DP World, Emirates, wasl and Rolex, they all have their own chalets.
“Then underneath, and this is a special thing, is the media centre. It probably has one of the fanciest views the media get all year round, overlooking directly on the 18th green. You will be able to see the final putt drop when you're typing your press release. So that's something we're very proud of.”
Sustainability playing it's part
Another thing clear to see as we drive around the estate is the sustainability being implemented into the DP World Tour Championship this year. With the hospitality facility on the 16th hole, the Earth Lounge, they have installed solar panels and it will be run on hydrogen generators therefore generating zero carbon emissions.
BMW are providing electric cars as part of their fleet for the players. And they are also working with ‘no more bottles’ to save on plastic bottles during the event, while at the same time recycling 75% of tournament waste. So there are plenty of good initiatives going on at the DP World Tour Championship.
Away from the tournament golf, there are plenty of activities for fans to engage with as Freddie explained “We have grown the tournament together with Dubai and the village speaks for itself. There’s going to be a fantastic kids zone with bouncy castles, kids entertainers and face painting. Community Day on the Friday, Ladies Day on the Saturday, which has been become very popular over the last couple of years, and then on Sunday we have the Family Day.
“There will be amazing food trucks and everybody even has access to golf, as on the driving range we have the trick shot boys, ‘golf for all’ so you can grab a golf club and have a swing yourself just next to the professionals. And for the first time ever, even a camel ride! Don’t worry, we will make sure they get a rest!”
With the tournament getting underway on Thursday 16th November, Freddie already has one eye on the circus of the event being complete “We are looking forward to the Monday when everything is over, when we can relax and hopefully be very proud of what we have achieved. Even though it's hard work, we want to make sure that everybody who comes has a great time.”