Golf is a fun sport to play and there are a variety of reasons to consider visiting the UAE for a golf holiday. Golf holidays are also a great way to explore a new country and experience a different culture. If you are still on the fence about whether or not to plan a golf holiday in Abu Dhabi then you should consider reading our Top 6 Reasons to Visit Abu Dhabi for a Golf Holiday.
The European Tour may have changed its name to The DP World Tour and reshuffled its schedule to take the game of golf to more and more diverse and exciting destinations around the world, proving of course that golf is indeed a global game, but one thing remains the same; it all kicks off in Abu Dhabi!
For years, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, with its famous Falcon Clubhouse hosted the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, but for the first time ever, the incredible Yas Links will host the season opener for those plying their trade away from the PGA Tour.
While the trio of championship golf courses in Abu Dhabi are always in tip top shape, there’s nothing quite like attending a tournament to watch the world’s best golfers do battle over 4 days of intense competition before taking to the course yourself after the culmination of the event.
Ever played a golf course in tour condition? Head to Abu Dhabi and give it a go to see what tip top shape really means!
Postcard worthy pics just in from @WestwoodLee out in Abu Dhabi - we’re not jealous at all Lee, not at all ? Looking forward to the action at @adgolfchamps this week - keep ripping it Champ ?— Your Golf Travel (@yourgolftravel) January 19, 2021
Drop a golf emoji in the comments if you’d love to be playing golf here this week! pic.twitter.com/Ig2WnCuqsg
Amazing Golf Courses
There are 7 golf courses in total in Abu Dhabi, but the headliners out here are without doubt Abu Dhabi Golf Club which hosted The European Tour annually since 2006, the top rated golf courses in all of the UAE in the form of Yas Links, and Gary Player’s majestic Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
These are the three courses you’ll want to aim for on your Abu Dhabi golf holiday, promising not only supreme quality both in conditioning and layout, but also incredible views and world class off-course facilities and amenities.
The best part? All three courses are completely different from one another, with the only similarity being the sheer quality on offer for the visiting golfer.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club has one of the most iconic clubhouses in world golf and is the embodiment of what most golfers would imagine a golf course in Abu Dhabi to be. Pristine fairways cut their way through desert wasteland, with palm trees, huge water hazards and gleaming white bunkers providing a stern test of golf.
Yas Links on the other hand and as the name would suggest, is a rugged links style course that takes pride of place on the shores of Yas Island. Designed by Kyle Philiips, one of the most celebrated golf course architects in recent history, Yas is ranked as the best golf course in the UAE and is set to host the world’s best golfers in 2022 when The DP World Tour comes to town.
Just a 20 minute drive away, perched on Saadiyat Island you’ll find the picturesque Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Designed by Gary Player, Saadiyat Beach boasts one of the most spectacular beachfront locations in Abu Dhabi and views to die for. Whether it’s the incredible bunkering and sea views here, or the herds of Gazelles that call the golf course home and the dolphins that play in the surf, you are sure to find joy during a round at Saadiyat Beach regardless of how you play.
As one of the only golf holiday destinations in the world with floodlit golf courses, Abu Dhabi also offers the chance to play golf long after the sun has gone down.
As one of the world’s richest cities, it hardly comes as a surprise that Abu Dhabi is home to some incredible hotels, where some of the best architects, designers and chefs have come together to provide visiting golfers with some of the most memorable accommodation options on earth.
Whether you choose from the likes of the Westin Abu Dhabi, Crowne Plaza Yas Island, or Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, there are numerous resort style hotels that offer direct access to Abu Dhabi’s best golf courses and thus the ultimate convenience for visiting golfers. If golf is the be all and end all for you on your Abu Dhabi golf holiday, the chance to roll out of bed and onto the first tee is too good to pass up, and with world-class leisure facilities, luxury spas and incredible restaurants and bars all on site too; this trio of hotels will tick plenty of boxes during your time away from the fairways too.
For those looking to divide their time equally between playing golf and exploring all of the off-course delights that Abu Dhabi has to offer, there are plenty of other incredible accommodation options too.
If you’re looking for a taste of traditional Arabia, hotels like the incredible Qasr Al Sarab (the most instagrammed hotel in the world) with its unique location amid rolling dunes in the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world offers easy access to desert life and exciting activities like sand boarding and dune bashing. For something a little more modern, visiting golfers can choose to base themselves in one of the many luxurious hotels in the heart of Abu Dhabi City, where attractions like Ferrari World, Yas WaterWorld and the world-famous Yas Marina Circuit (host of the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) are right on your doorstep.
No matter which option you choose for your Abu Dhabi Golf Holiday, infinite luxury and world-class levels of service are guaranteed.
Exciting Activities away from the Golf Course
Away from the golf course, Abu Dhabi has perfected the combination of the old and the new.
Head into the desert for a shot of adrenaline during a spot of sand boarding and dune bashing before an Al Ain Safari and a night in a Bedouin tent at the Arabian Nights Village; or spend some time in Abu Dhabi City, where shopping malls, world-class restaurants, exciting attractions like Ferrari World (home to the world’s fastest roller coaster) and world-famous architecture like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are ready and waiting to fill your time away from the fairways.
Of course, those with an eye on a slice of beach life will be right at home in Abu Dhabi, where year-round sunshine comes together with crystal clear water and gleaming white sandy beaches of all shapes and sizes. Corniche Beach is an ideal option for families looking to spend a day together by the seaside, while the beaches of Yas Island offer a huge array of activities including beach volleyball, sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking. For something a little more secluded and laid back, head to Saadiyat Island, where you’ll find 9km of pristine shoreline which is protected from development in order to maintain the network of sand dunes and protect the threatened hawksbill turtles that nest nearby.
The Weather is Perfect for Golf
With an average daily temperature ranging from 18 degrees in the “winter” to 35 degrees in summer, Abu Dhabi pretty much guarantees superb year-round weather for golfers. Every now and again, you might have to pull on a light jumper if you’re enjoying some early morning or twilight golf, but for the most part, you can enjoy playing on world-class championship golf courses while working on your golfer’s tan. Leave the waterproofs at home and make room for a couple of bottles of suncream…or perhaps a coolbag full of ice cold beer. We’ll leave that one up to you.
Rich Culture & Heritage of the UAE
Abu Dhabi might be more readily associated with fast cars, ultra-luxurious hotels and beach clubs, modern attractions and world-class restaurants and bars, but when you visit the capital of the UAE, you’re never too far away from a taste of old Arabia.
In Abu Dhabi City, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque wows crowds of up to 55,000 visitors per day and is one of the most spectacular architectural wonders in Abu Dhabi, while out in the desert when you’re not mobbing around dune bashing in state of the art 4x4s, you can visit the Arabian Wildlife Park where you can see Gazelles and majestic Arabian Oryx, before spending the evening at the Arabian Nights Village, eventually retiring to a Bedouin tent where you can transport yourself and experience a slice of the emirate’s rich past.
Historic attractions like the 5000 year old Jebel Hafit Tombs and UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the capital’s garden city Al Ain, and the Al Ain Oasis where visitors can cast an eye on what agriculture in this region has looked like for millennia, are but a few of the places where those visiting Abu Dhabi can take a step into the past.
To sum up, there are few destinations around the world as varied and ideally suited to golfers and intrepid explorers alike than Abu Dhabi, where the old meets the new and world class golf can be enjoyed year-round under the Arabian sun. If you’re looking for something new for your next golf holiday, Abu Dhabi is sure to tick plenty of boxes for you both on and off the golf course.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a total of 7 golf courses in Abu Dhabi, but the main attractions come in the form of Abu Dhabi Golf Club with its iconic Falcon Clubhouse, Yas Links, the best golf course in the UAE, and the picturesque Saadiyat Beach Golf Club which was laid down by the legendary Gary Player.