As the UAE's first glow in the dark mini-golf course opens its doors. Anna Seaman talks to the founder
Emirates gets its first glow-in-the-dark golf course
Playing a round of crazy golf is guaranteed to bring a smile to most faces and that smile just got a little bit brighter with the opening of the first glow-in-the-dark course, where everything white, including your teeth, will shine luminously as you make your way through 18 holes.
Opening this week in Wafi Mall, Tee & Putt has been designed with a space-age theme such that multiple level holes and mazes for the balls are not the only obstacles players have to overcome. "We also have lunar rocks as obstacles, aliens, spaceships, rockets and astronauts," says Rashi Panjabi, the founder. "We wanted something different that would really add value to the entertainment scene here in Dubai."
From dream to green
Panjabi, who grew up in Dubai, says her father was a keen golfer and she used to accompany him to Dubai Creek when she was a child. However, it wasn't until she left to study in America that she came up with the idea to bring a minigolf course to the UAE.
"I did my undergrad and MBA in Boston and Chicago and when my parents came to visit, we always used to go and play minigolf - it was a nice family activity. When I moved back in 2007 there wasn't really any minigolf places here in Dubai - so I thought it was something that was missing and a good opportunity for entertainment, especially for the family," she says.
Five years later, she felt ready to turn her idea into a reality and once she secured a spot in the soon-to-be renovated Wafi Mall, she approached an American company to build the 18-hole course.
"It took around two months to make and two months to ship and a lot of hard work. I really put my heart and soul into it and now that it is ready, it is like a dream that has now come true."
Tee & Putt will officially launch this week, just in time for the summer, when families will be looking for places and ways to spend their time.
"The course has been designed to be fun for everyone, not just the children. It is quite challenging and the fact that it is glow in the dark just adds that extra twist," says Panjabi.
With special offers for groups and party options for children, Panjabi has carefully considered the commercial options, but the businesswoman, who also owns the online book rental company Reader's Paradise, is hoping for more than that. "It wasn't a way to make money, it was a passion. I've grown up around golf and my husband also plays, but even those people who say they don't play golf will like this. It also gets kids at an early age to get into sports, so I really think it will contribute positively to the Dubai entertainment scene."
For more information visit www.teeandputt.com or go to Level 1 in Wafi Mall
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