The game of golf has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 15th century in Scotland. Today the game is played in almost every country in the world, with an estimated 60 million active participants making it one of the most popular sports globally.
When you think of golf, you may think of Augusta National in Georgia, USA, or Sunningdale in Berkshire, England. While the golf establishment has many historical courses to play on, Dubai is now on the scene.
The city-state of Dubai has been busy promoting itself as a premier golfing destination for over two decades and has quickly built an excellent reputation for the courses’ quality. With 14 courses to choose from (one PGA credited), golfers are spoilt for choice.
With perfect weather all year round and Dubai’s relative proximity to Europe, golf has become a prime destination for amateurs and professionals.
There are many things you need to know before packing your clubs and flying out to Dubai for a round. Here are some things to take into consideration before booking your golf holiday.
The Best Time of Year to Play Golf in Dubai
The weather is one of the main draws for golfers to play in Dubai. Compared to the United States or Europe, there are very few rainy, cold days. Dubai has two main seasons, summer and winter.
The summer months of September and October can become very uncomfortable for many, with temperatures generally ranging between 25°C (77°F) with highs of 38°C(100.4°F).
The winter months, November to March, are much cooler, and there is a possibility of the odd shower. Expect temperatures not to exceed 30°C (86°F) and with lows of around 17°C (62.6°F).
The courses can be jam-packed. Book your trip ahead to get the best deals during this busy period.
The Best Courses In Dubai
If you are looking to play in Dubai, you are spoiled for choice. With 14 pristine courses that are maintained to a very high standard, it is hard to choose where to play.
With limited time it is unlikely you will play all of them, so here are the five highest-rated golf courses in Dubai:
1: Dubai Creek Golf Club
The Dubai Creek course is fantastic to play on, with fairways like carpets and bunkers strategically placed to challenge your game yet still make the round very enjoyable.
With so many water features to navigate and beautiful high-class maintained facilities, the course surely deserves the reputation as the number one golf course in Dubai.
2: Majlis Course, Emirates Golf Club
The Majlis Course was the first in the Middle East to have an entire 18-hole grass course. Like many courses in Dubai, there are picturesque water hazards and world-class fairways, and the Emirates Golf Club is well-known for its lush greens.
Nick Faldo redesigned the course in 2005, and it is shaded by trees, one of his signature design features.
The Emirates Golf Club is the only course in the region where you can play a full 18-hole round at night.
3: Al Badia Golf Club
Located near the Dubai Festival City Mall, the Al Badia Golf Club is a championship course designed by the world-renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones II.
His inspiration for the course is Dubai’s sand dunes and the region’s local fauna. Reasonably priced, players can choose to play a round of 5,398 yards or, for something more challenging, try the championship round of 7,303 yards.
4: Arabian Ranches Golf Club
This par-72 course spans an area of 247 acres, is located in the Arabian Ranches residential area, and is easily accessed via the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.
The course boasts a floodlit putting green and a driving range, the design of the course is inspired by the desert terrain and the native bushes and shrubs. Annual membership gives access to the club amenities and unlimited golf course play.
5: Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa
Opened in 1998, this 9-hole par 36 course is a favorite with some of the best players in the world. Local fauna and lined with exotic trees, the course also boasts a large salt-water lake that comes into play on five holes.
Don’t be surprised to see roaming Peacocks on the fairways, which are also dotted with charming wooden gazebos strategically placed so you can take a break from the sun. The course is only open to professional players due to its popularity, but amateurs can still use the rest of the facilities.
You will not be disappointed with so many quality courses to choose from.
Other Than Golf, What Else Does Dubai Offer Tourists?
Golf may be many people’s main reason to visit Dubai, but it would be a shame not to see some of Dubai’s attractions.
The city is an ultra-modern destination that is family-friendly and should be explored. Boasting the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (829.8m) is replete with shopping malls, a massive indoor aquarium, and even artificial ski slopes, not to mention the unbelievable views of the gulf and city below.
For a slightly less modern take on the city, try a guided tour through the Al Fahidi old quarter, complete with a cruise along Dubai Creek on a traditional dhow.
Try the day trips to the desert for a bit more adrenaline. Four-wheel drive vehicles are available to rent with a guide to have fun in the dunes.
Camel rides and sandboarding are also very popular with locals and tourists. Traditional Arabian falconry displays are amazing to watch, and you can even have dinner in the dunes and then camp overnight under the stars.
No holiday in the region would be complete without visiting one of the many postcard-perfect beaches.
The most popular of these is Umm Suquim Beach, with crystal clear water, fine sand, and an abundance of watersports on offer.
There is something for the whole family. The beach also boasts many fine dining establishments and, to the south, stunning views of the Burj Al Arab.