Dubai: Falcon Golf, a subsidiary of Falcon and Associates, will take over ownership and control of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters from Golf in Dubai from April 1, it was announced on Wednesday.
It will also manage Dubai’s involvement in the Race to Dubai, the European Tour’s year-long Order of Merit, which features 45 tournaments in 26 countries over the course of a season.
The organisation will be chaired by Peter Dawson, former chief executive of the R&A and former secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and will look to drive greater golf tourism.
A recent study from Deloitte found golf to be worth $270 million (Dh992 million) to the local economy.
“Dubai has a fantastic golf offering and, combined with the emirate’s forward-thinking approach, I believe there is real opportunity to develop it further,” said Dawson. “It is a sporting partnership that, over the years, has not only contributed to the growth of Dubai, but also to the global growth and popularity of the game.
“I am delighted to have been chosen for this special role and motivated by the exciting challenge ahead. Dubai’s investment in its golfing credentials, including its relationship with the European Tour, has proved to be very successful and I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders as we look to the future.”
Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, said: “Dubai has long recognised the potential of both golf’s contribution to the sport economy and the platform it provides to tell our story to the world.
“The entity will bring together the emirate’s fantastic golf assets and ensure these continue to deliver for Dubai. This is great news for the continued development of the game in this part of the world. With world-class facilities and courses, a number of professional golfers calling Dubai home, including Rory McIlroy and Rafael Cabrera Bello, as well as new courses coming to the market, we see a clear opportunity for future growth.”
Mohammad Juma Bu Amim, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Golf in Dubai, will become an honorary president of both the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and will continue to impart his knowledge and expertise, while Golf in Dubai — under a new name — will continue to oversee the Mena Golf Tour and online tee-time booking platform Golf Citizen.
“These are very energising times for Dubai and its golf offering and I am excited to see the industry being convened in this way,” said Bu Amim. “I am honoured to have been able to contribute to the success of Dubai’s growth through golf over the last two decades and look forward to my continued involvement, guiding the success of the two tournaments that are so close to my heart.”
Dawson added: “Mohammad Juma Bu Amim and the team at Golf in Dubai have done an outstanding job and I look forward to building on the strong foundations they have laid.”