Dubai has always been an aspirational location for tourism, golf and business: Bjorn

Dane says ongoing investment in the juniors of the UAE is vital in the search for a local hero

By Thomas Bjorn

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|Dubai brings so many more people to Dubai for both tourism and business. - @mrtbjorn
|Dubai brings so many more people to Dubai for both tourism and business. - @mrtbjorn

Published: Tue 9 Jan 2024, 6:57 PM

Last updated: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 9:45 AM

Having first come to Dubai for the 1996 Dubai Desert Classic I have always had a close association with the city – whether as a family home or now as a regular visitor using Dubai Creek Resort as my winter base.

Moving forward in my life as a 52-year-old, I would like to continue to support Dubai in a wider role. There always have been and still are so many opportunities in Dubai – especially in the golfing and business world.

I am now at an age where my focus and reliance are not 100 per cent on my performances on the golf course. This year I plan to play some events on the Legends Tour, in the US and on the DP World Tour.

Dubai is changing all the time – this comes with different dynamics. What I have noticed most recently is that it brings so many more people to Dubai for both tourism and business.

Dubai has always been an aspirational location for tourism, golf and business. When you are a first-time visitor to Dubai you cannot fail to be impressed with everything.

Dubai and the UAE have some of the best golf facilities in the world. - AP File
Dubai and the UAE have some of the best golf facilities in the world. - AP File

Dubai acknowledges its history – but always seems to look forward to the next project. I would say Dubai is in my blood, I have ridden the changes and adapted to the new Dubai.

I am playing this week in the $2.5 million Dubai Invitational hosted by my good friend Abdullah Al Naboodah at Dubai Creek Resort, the first event of 2024 on the DP World Tour.

I have spent some time over the years with Abdullah, especially more recently since he became a fellow Board Member on the DP World Tour.

I will ask him for personal advice. He has a great love and genuine passion for golf, a global perspective on so many things and is part of a well-connected and respected Dubai family.

The Dubai Creek golf course looks great for this week – the entire team have done a really good job to get the golf course ready, at a peak time in the season - at the same time as keeping the golf club going with its strong and loyal membership and large numbers of rounds of golf, by members, local golfers and international golfers.

I am looking to enhance my relationship with Dubai and the UAE moving forward.

I can see many opportunities in the Corporate Golf experience, along with so many of my fellow professional golfers who either live here or spend so much time here. Guest appearances – both playing and otherwise, Q&A sessions and ‘Meet and Greet’ experiences will all be part of the package.

Dubai is a big city with a now-developed school system with sports considered a priority for students - including golf with its exceptional golfing facilities.

The best thing that can happen to golf to really move forward in Dubai and the UAE is for a UAE National to enter the world’s golfing scene.

To succeed at golf you have to possess the drive and passion for the game starting through group golf - not through individual golf.

Continued investment in the juniors of the UAE is vital and then juniors, through healthy rivalry, can inspire each other alongside the ex-pats.

Par 3 golf and driving ranges are a great entry level to the game – and it seems, more golf courses and golf facilities are required, perhaps at the entry level, to satisfy the demand.

Dubai and the UAE have some of the best golf facilities in the world – I am excited to see how golf and the city develop moving forward.

Thomas Bjorn is a 52-year-old professional golfer, born in Denmark. He has won 23 professional golf titles around the world including the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic. He played three times representing Europe in The Ryder Cup and was the winning Ryder Cup Captain in 2018. He is an Ambassador of Dubai Creek Resort.


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