A report published by Deloitte Wednesday has revealed that the direct and indirect economic impact of golf in Dubai is a staggering $131m per annum.
The comprehensive study also reveals the total gross expenditure on golf in the emirate is $270m, a quarter of total sports expenditure, while the estimated economic impact of golf tourism in Dubai is $38m – proving that golf can be considered as a major growth catalyst for Dubai’s sports industry as a whole.
Golf’s contribution to the wider sporting sector is on the up across a number of key indicators, as it now contributes 30 percent to sport’s total economic impact of $421m.While Dubai’s nine golf clubs and 11 courses are at the heart of the golf industry, with some 410,000 rounds played annually, almost two thirds ($80 million) of golf’s economic impact per annum is attributable to events. The OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic has been a fixture on The European Tour International Schedule since 1989, while this weekend’s seventh annual DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates is expected to attract a remarkable 65,000 spectators. With the sporting world’s gaze on the tournament, such events further increase the spotlight on Dubai and leading golfing facilities.
In gross expenditure terms (measuring all expenditure relating to the event regardless of source), golf events generated an estimated $92m of total sports expenditure of $1.1b. Gross expenditure of golf clubs alone is $120m, representing revenue from memberships, green fees and food and beverage.
Reflective of these successes, Dubai Sports Council recently attached a 5-star ranking to the DP World Tour Championship, further enhancing the tournament’s status as one of the premier events in the UAE.
Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International – Dubai, “When I arrived in the UAE some 25 years ago, there was only one 18-hole grass course in the entire Middle East. Today, the UAE is home to 9 clubs and 11 golf courses, while golf has developed across the entire region with grass courses now in countries such as Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The sport is in great health in Dubai and the UAE but that’s only part of the story – we have enjoyed remarkable growth in that quarter of a century with numbers of golfers both UAE residents and international visitors assisted through our European Tour mantra of ‘play where the pros play.”
Julian Small, Managing Director of Club Operations at Jumeirah Golf Estates commented on the report findings: “As host venue of the DP World Tour Championship, we have a front row view to the large-scale impact major golf events are having in Dubai and the UAE. As the sports industry continues to grow – with golf accounting for a significant portion of the sector – we see major potential for Jumeirah Golf Estates, as a leading residential golf community, to leverage and maximize Dubai’s reputation as a global sporting destination of choice.
“With a large share of sports’ gross expenditure attributed to golf-related spend, we foresee continued strong interest in our first-class residential, lifestyle and golf proposition from a market, which has become increasingly interested in the sport and its associated offerings,” concluded Small.
Abdulla bin Damithan, Director, Commercial Department at DP World, UAE Region: “Today’s report about the value of sport endorsed by the Dubai Sports Council confirms our commitment to golf. Our association with the sport since 2009 has raised our profile and enables us as a business to engage with key stakeholders across the world.
We know what it takes to be a global player – with over 65 terminals at ports across six continents. This tournament is about leaders, trusted partnerships, smooth performance and a winning mentality. All part of DP World’s DNA.”
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, CEO and Vice Chairman of ‘golf in DUBAi’: “Golf in our dynamic city of Dubai has evolved rapidly since the first ball was struck at the inaugural Omega Dubai Desert Classic in 1989. We have been able to use professional golf not only to elevate the game in Dubai, but also help establish Dubai as one of the most exciting destinations on the planet–this was historically emphasised when Tiger Woods drove a ball from the helipad of the Burj Al Arab at the 2004 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Our past champions in both the ladies’ and men’s events reads like the ‘who’s who of golf’ with such illustrious names as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Annika Sorenstam and the late Seve Ballesteros. We are delighted that golf is such an important part of Dubai’s economic fabric and looking forward we see an even brighter horizon for our sport”
Mustafa Al Hashimi, CEO wasl Hospitality and Leisure “Golf has witnessed phenomenal growth since the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club was opened as the first grass course in the region in 1988. Dubai is now recognised as a world class golfing destination with many excellent golf courses to play. The game of golf is now seen as a key economic driver to the region and at Dubai Golf we work closely with tour operators worldwide to bring thousands of tourists each year into the region to play our world class courses. Professional tournaments such as the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and DP World Tour Championship regularly attract the worlds best golfers to the region and are watched by millions of golf enthusiasts around the globe. This report highlights just how valuable golf is to Dubai and we look forward to continue to be at the forefront of developing the game and the wider industry in future years.”