Gary Meenaghan's guide to all 21 of the UAE's golf courses
Golf courses across the UAE
1. The Abu Dhabi Golf Club The National Course has been home to the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship since 2006, while the club's nine-hole Garden Course offers a more forgiving round. 2. Abu Dhabi City Golf Club Formerly known as the Abu Dhabi Golf & Equestrian Club, the country's oldest golf club started in 1987 as an 18-hole sand course, but 11 years later became the capital's first all grass nine-holer.
3. Al Ghazal Golf Club Located near Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ghazal opened in 1997 and offers 18 holes that club officials claim to make up "one of the best sand courses in the world". 4. Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Designed by Gary Player, Saadiyat's links-style course has aspirations of one day hosting the Abu Dhabi Championship. Welcomes the public next month having opened with the Beach Classic charity event last month.
5. Al Ain Golf Club An 18-hole, 7,715-yard sand course located near the Al Ain Intercontinental Hotel. Players are provided a small square of astroturf to carry round the course with them. 6. Al Dhafra Golf Links Situated in Al Ruwais, 240 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi city, this nine-hole 5,429-yard sand course runs along the coastline next to the Al Dhafra Beach Hotel.
7. Yas Links Yas has been dubbed the first genuine links golf course in the Middle East, the 18-hole championship-standardcourse is complemented by a six-hole par-3 academy course. (Opening: May 2010) 8. Bawabbat Abu Dhabi Still in the planning stages, this Greg Norman-designed 18-hole course will be situated five minutes from Al Raha Beach and will be surrounded by real estate. (Opening: TBC)
9. Jumeirah Golf Estates Four 18-hole courses, two of which are complete. Earth hosted the European Tour's season-ending Dubai World Championship, while Fire opened its doors last week. Only Wind and Water remain in the pipeline . (Opening: TBC) 10. Emirates Golf Club The oldest and most established club in Dubai, the Emirates offers two 18-hole championship courses: The Majlis, home of the Desert Classic, and the Nick Faldo-designed Wadi. Also has a nine-hole par-3 course.
11. The Els Club Designed by the South African Ernie Els, the 7,538-yard course opened in March 2008. It was the first course in the Middle East to offer hi-tech Segways as well as course-standard golf carts. 12. The Address Montgomerie Dubai Celebrating its eighth year, the 18-hole championship course designed by Colin Montgomerie is complemented by a US$24 million (Dh88.1m) clubhouse.
13. Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa The nine-hole par-36 course opened in 1998 and now offers state-of-the-art swing analysis and floodlit practice facilities. 14. Dubai Creek Golf Club Sister of the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek opened in 1993 and offers a championship course and a nine-hole Par-3. 15. Arabian Ranches Having opened its doors in 2004, the 18-hole par-72 course spans 247 acres, of which 120 are irrigated. Clubhouse was first in the region to offer onsite guest rooms.
16. Al Badia Golf Club Previously titled the Four Seasons Golf Club, Al Badia is home to an 18-hole par-72 course, swing analysis studios and floodlit driving, pitching and putting facilities. 17. The Tiger Woods - Dubai The Al Ruwaya course will offer membership by invitation only when it finally opens. Having suffered delays, it is believed the world No 1 Woods's first golf course will be ready by the first quarter of 2011. (Opening: January 2011) 18. Dubai Golf City Located near Jebel Ali, this mammoth US$1.8 billion project will include five courses and an academy when finished. Two of the courses have now been partially grassed and may open as early as 2011. (Opening: TBC)
19. Tower Links Golf Club One of two courses located in the Northern Emirates, the Tower Links is an 18-hole challenge situated among vast mangrove swamps. 20. Al Hamra Golf Club Designed by Peter Harradine, the same man who designed Abu Dhabi's National Course, the 18-hole par-72 runs along the northern coastline. Al Hamra is arguably the Middle East's first links course.
21. Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club When measured back-to-back, this nine-hole par-36 fully grassed course comes in at more than 7,300 yards and is open to non-members.