Golf has been around in Dubai for several decades, but it wasn't until the PGA officially brought an event to the city in the late 1980s that it really took off. Today there are a wide range of courses in and around Dubai offering spectacular views and some unique challenges. Special events are also held throughout the year for golfers of all skill levels.
If you are looking for a great Dubai golf holiday, here are our choices for the best of the best:
Emirates Golf Club
When Emirates Golf Club opened in 1988, it was the first all-grass golfing facility in the Middle East. It offers 36 holes on three courses: Majlis, Faldo, and a challenging par 3 course. Emirates plays host to the annual Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters tournament.
Perhaps the unique aspect of Emirates Golf Club is that both the Majlis and Faldo courses offer 18 holes of night golf. Playing at night is a great option during the peak of the summer season, when being outdoors in the sun can be rather uncomfortable. The club also features tennis, health and fitness activities, fine dining, and a host of special events throughout the year. Proper attire and prior booking are both required.
Al Badia Golf Club
Al Badia markets itself as the premier golf club destination in Dubai. One look at the incredible clubhouse and you may agree. The club sits in the heart of Dubai Festival City, a ‘city within the city' and a hub of residential, entertainment and business development.
The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II to combine the wide-open expanse of the desert with some very interesting hazard challenges. Between the ‘rivers of sand', multi-tier lakes, and fairways that narrow as you approach the green, there is no shortage of challenges to keep even the most experienced golfer focused. Be sure to book your tee time well in advance.
The Montgomerie Dubai
Course ownership and management is what sets the Montgomerie Dubai apart from every other course in the region. It is owned and managed by Troon Golf, owners of the legendary Royal Troon Golf Club of Scotland. Just like a typical course in Scotland, the Montgomerie looks easy right off the first tee. Nevertheless, do not be fooled; the sand traps and water hazards will catch you if you are not careful.
In addition to the world-class course, the Montgomerie also offers a luxury hotel, golf academy, fine dining, and a list of special events throughout the year. You could book your entire golf holiday at the resort and never have to leave. Of course, the city centre is just minutes away for those guests who want to indulge in all that Dubai has to offer.
For something completely different, you might consider booking your Dubai golf holiday at Arabian Ranches. This character-rich course is known for the residential properties lining the entire perimeter in a way that gives the course a very ‘homey' look and feel.
Many of the resort's guests are surprised to discover there are no water hazards or traditional sand traps on the course. Yet that by no means makes Arabian Ranches an easy play. Miss your fairway or green and you will be sitting in the vast sand waste area the course is noted for. The only good news is that the softness of the sand makes it more like a traditional bunker than less-forgiving waste areas in places like Arizona and Southern California. Arabian Ranches hosts a number of events for guests of all skill levels.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
For the classic golf and yacht club experience, the city offers you the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. This incredible resort dubai property opened up on Dubai's most acclaimed waterfront in 1993; it is now home to the area's most prestigious events including the Dubai Desert Classic. You can view an entire list of hotels at dubaiproperty.org.uk for further information.
Nestled between the busy Deira district and the tranquil Dubai Creek, the resort offers the best of both worlds in the heart of the city. You will love the wide-open spaces that give the course a very park-like feel, while being challenged by the tall rough, sandy waste areas, and other hazards scattered throughout. When you're finished with your round, sit back and relax with some fine dining or a spa experience in the hotel's wellness centre.
The Els Club
While all of the other golf clubs we have listed here are fully-fledged resorts offering everything you need for a complete holiday, The Els Club is different. Rather than being a complete resort offering everything, it is an 18-hole golf club situated within the Dubai Sports City. It is a challenging course designed by the legendary Ernie Els and one worth playing next time you're in Dubai.
When the course was designed, the focus was to take advantage of as many of the natural elements as possible. Thus, you'll be playing among natural sand dunes and indigenous plant life. You will love the rolling hills, beautiful water features, and the look and feel of a beautiful downtown park in the middle of the desert. You will appreciate the fact that the course managers have been trained according to the industry-standards set by Troon Golf worldwide.
There is no shortage of great golf holiday options in and around the city of Dubai plus luxury Dubai hotels to stay in. After just one visit, you are likely to return multiple times in the future, until you have played each of the wonderful courses the area has to offer. Combined with the exciting Dubai atmosphere and ongoing development, every visit will be as exciting and rewarding as the one before.
Of your the type of holiday maker who likes everything organised for you, you can of course use someone like Golf Break Holidays who can offer specialist advice on where to go depending on your desires and what you want from your golf break. Such online specialists can advise on golfing tours worldwide.