In January, the cream of the crop on the European Tour heads to Dubai for the annual Dubai Desert Classic. Dubbed ‘the Major of the Middle East’ the tournament has been played on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club since 1989, and year after year has grown in stature, with big-name players competing for a pot of gold now amounting to a massive $3,250,000!

Just who will win this year though? Let’s take a closer look at the event.

The Course: Majlis Course at The Emirates Golf Club

The Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club boasts an astonishing history in itself. Setting the benchmark for golf in Dubai, the course was the 1st 18 hole grass course in the UAE, a milestone that resulted in its nickname – “The Desert Miracle”. Ranked 2nd in the UAE, the course has been at the forefront of golf in Dubai and has since paved the way for golf in the middle east too.

At 7,185 yards, the par 72 championship layout certainly presents a stern test and its dramatic layout overlooking Dubai’s skyscrapers is sure to inspire you to check out its neighbouring Faldo Course and the other fantastic courses in the UAE (Guide Here!). Here’s what some of the pros have to say about it.

”I always enjoy spending time at the club whether it’s during the Dubai Desert Classic or when I’m holidaying with my family in Dubai. My greatest memory of the Emirates Golf Club was in 2001 when I won the Dubai Desert Classic playing alongside Tiger. I look forward to returning soon.”

Thomas Bjorn

Clubhouse at Emirates Golf Club

”It’s incredible. When I first played here in 1989, the Emirates Golf Club was right out in the desert and now – as you see with the skyscrapers all around it – it’s right in the middle of town.”

Barry Lane

Rory McIlroy wins Dubai Desert Classic

31 years old, 28 pro wins, 4 in Dubai.

The Dubai Desert Classic is a tournament which Rory McIlroy certainly has fond memories of, with the event being the site of the Northern Irishman’s first professional win in 2009 and kick-starting a career which, to this date, has produced an astonishing 26 more professional titles.

McIlroy refers to this city as his “second home” and since 2009, McIlroy’s record in the desert has continued on an equally impressive vein, winning the Dubai Desert Classic again in 2015 and coming runner up in 2018 by only one shot to Li Haotong.

Previous Champions: An illustrious list

One thing that we do know for sure, is that whoever is crowned champion this week will enjoy their place amongst some of golf’s greatest names. The illustrious list includes the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods… No pressure then.

Facts & Figures: Snippets from years gone by

Most Wins:

Ernie Els (1994, 2002, 2005)

Lowest 18 Hole Score:

61 (-11): Ernie Els (1994)

Lowest 72 Hole Score:

264 (-24): Bryson DeChambeau (2019)

Youngest Winner:

Rory McIlroy: 19 years and 273 days (2009)

Oldest Winner:

Mark O’Meara, 47 years and 54 days (2004)

2021 Prize Money:

$3,250,000

Emirates GC 1

Watch out for the Majlis’ signaure par 3 7th hole… Card wrecker.

Wish you were there?

I know what you’re thinking… I’d love to be in Dubai right now to see the world’s golfing elite in action… Well, you can with Your Golf Travels fantastic European Tour Packages!

Watch the tournament and enjoy your own few rounds of golf in the sun, all whilst staying at the luxurious JA Oceanview Suites Hotel or InterContinental Dubai Marina.

Find out about our fantastic flight-inclusive Dubai Desert Classic packages here!

Rick

Rick

Keen golfer, 11 handicap, some people have collections of various types of objects, I collect golf courses.

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