Yas Links Abu Dhabi, owned by Aldar and managed by Troon, will host some of the biggest names from the European Tour at the 17th edition of the championship from 20-23 January 2022. Hosted at a new venue for the first time in the tournament’s history, the European Tour this week confirmed that the opening tournament of the 2022 Race to Dubai season will get underway with a Rolex Series event at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.
News of Yas Links Abu Dhabi’s addition to the European Tour schedule from 2022 onwards follows confirmation from the UAE authorities that people traveling to the emirate no longer need to show a negative COVID-19 test result to cross the border into the capital from Dubai. International travelers are also set to benefit following changes to the Abu Dhabi green list in October, with fully vaccinated individuals not required to quarantine on arrival, regardless of nationality or where they have come from. Abu Dhabi has also added 27 countries to its green list of travel, meaning that a total of 82 destinations, including the UK, France, Germany, the U.S., Israel, are exempt from quarantining regardless of their vaccination status.
Mark Chapleski, President of Troon International said: “I am very proud of our team who have been hard at work over the past two years to successfully deliver a series of extensive on-course improvements at Yas Links Abu Dhabi. As the first true links-style course in the Middle East, its current playability is second to none and this is recognised globally thanks to its top 50 ranking on Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses in the world. The course’s signature finishing holes on 16, 17, and 18 are regarded as one of the toughest trios in the UAE with the mangroves looming down the left of all three and it will be fascinating to see how the pros approach them in January next year.”
With the authorities confirming that the COVID-19 infection rate in the Emirate was just 0.2 percent of all recorded tests in September 2021 and with cases continuing to fall in October, Abu Dhabi is expecting visitor numbers to increase significantly. Now entering “peak season” with cooler weather, events such as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are set to entice a large number of international tourists and business travelers to the UAE’s capital city.
The championship’s move to Yas Island is an exciting one, particularly for Aldar, as the island’s leading real estate developer and manager. In recent years, Yas Island has become the premier destination for entertainment, leisure, retail, and business in Abu Dhabi and is home to many of the capital’s main tourist attractions.
Jassem Busaibe, Chief Executive Officer at Aldar Investment said: “Aldar is proud to continue its long association with the European Tour and welcome the HSBC Championship to its Yas Links Abu Dhabi course for the first time. Yas Island is a perfect home for the event, and we look forward to welcoming players, guests, and officials to the island, which is home to Aldar’s most iconic residential, retail, hospitality, entertainment, and leisure destinations.”
Yas Links Abu Dhabi will offer a unique blend of first-class hospitality and entertainment activities for fans, with the team at Troon Abu Dhabi already hard at work to ensure that those visiting will enjoy the best possible experience. These efforts also extend to the golf course itself, which was designed by Kyle Phillips and recently voted number one in the region. The man tasked with ensuring Yas Links Abu Dhabi is up to Tour standard by January 2022 is Yas Links Abu Dhabi Golf Course Manager, Corey Finn and while commenting on preparations said:
“The build-up to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is always very exciting but 2022 will be even more special with a brand-new venue for us to sink our teeth into. Many of the European and PGA Tour players will kick-start their competitive year in Abu Dhabi hoping to tame our notoriously tricky coastal course. Working closely with the European Tour creates a special environment and this will be no different in terms of working with a new team at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, as we are all working towards the same goal; making the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship even bigger and better than what’s come before.”
Tyrell Hatton will need to produce another dominant performance at Yas Links Abu Dhabi if he is going to secure back-to-back titles. In January 2021, the Englishman went toe-to-toe with four-time Major winner and Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy throughout the week and eventually finished four shots clear of the stellar field to kickstart his year.