The air was full of anticipation on Monday when Donald Trump breezed into Dubai for the launch of his new Golf Course development. The Trump International Golf Club, Akoya by Damac is being constructed in Dubailand and will be another offering to Golfers.
Mr. Trump was his positive and forward thinking self, making some big statements about the development and in particular the Golf Course.
He mentioned numerous times his plans to hold tournaments at the venue, commenting heavily on his wish to hold the Ryder Cup. Whether this has potential, is a realistic plan or main focus, Mr. Trump firmly believes that the Ryder Cup would be coming to this region in the near future. He was also putting his weight behind that statement with this new development saying they were creating a ‘World Class Venue’ with no expense spared.
Strong words indeed and in my opinion, there are four key factors that could point to this being not just a sales pitch to promote the project.
1 – The European Tour: Have a big footprint with offices and training facilities in the UAE and remember the whole Tour is called the ‘Race to Dubai’. The flagship season-ending event, The DP World Tour Championship also takes place in Dubai.
The list of Golf events based in the UAE is already impressive and has a history for such a young country, with 25 years at the Dubai Desert Classic and the 10th year in Abu Dhabi.
Even the Challenge Tour, which is the feeder tour for the players now has its Final in Dubai for the next 2 years.
2 – The Trump Factor: I do not need to expand on this too much as we are all well aware of his success. He now has some of the best Golf Courses in his portfolio globally and can attract names.
3 – Dubai: A one-off event like the Ryder Cup would be a massive coup for Dubai especially with Expo2020 taking place in the City. If there is one place that can pull off such a sporting coup then, in my opinion, it is Dubai and they have already a great Golf track record. The Emirate is now a tried and tested formula with trusted partners, superb venues and great hospitality. I am sure the Government and Dubai Tourism department would be more than excited at landing such a prestigious event with the spin-off boost to the economy.
4 – The Players: From my previous experiences at the UAE based Golf events, the players seem to enjoy coming here tremendously. They are looked after very well, act very relaxed and most importantly of all produce some great Golf because of this, which the Ryder Cup is renowned for.
So add these 4 ingredients together, could it be a possibility, you just never know!
Another Desert Swing Leg or even a PGA event?
Expanding the above further, that does not mean a new European Tour event could not also be held at the venue. What about another ‘leg’ added to the desert swing? So we have Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai, and Dubai again? Could this also be a possibility?
Will The Trump International Golf Club Akoya by Damac hold a high-level event in the future, let the debate commence. So let me throw a final curveball into the mix, how about Mr. Trump bringing a PGA of America event to these shores? Is that totally out of the realms of possibility especially with his connections? Whatever changes in the future it will be intriguing to watch the development and news coming from Akoya in the next few years.
Let me know your thoughts…