Meet this Arab entrepreneur who wants to empower youth in Saudi, UAE and the Middle East through golf

Khaleej Times caught up with Haya Ghassan Alsulaiman, General Manager and Franchise owner of GOLFTEC who is investing in the business of golf in the Middle East

By NIck Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer

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Haya Alsulaiman, GOLFTEC Franchise Owner here in City Walk, Dubai. - Supplied photo
Haya Alsulaiman, GOLFTEC Franchise Owner here in City Walk, Dubai. - Supplied photo

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 3:23 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 10:54 PM

Haya Ghassan Alsulaiman is a young Arab businesswoman from Saudi Arabia.

She is not only a golfer, but also an investor in the golf industry in Dubai and the region, as General Manager and Franchise Owner for GOLFTEC, a state-of-the-art golf technology facility in City Walk.

Haya told us the story of how she connected with golf through her parents who are Saudi nationals.

‘We used to go on family holidays to California in the US. In my mid-teens my father started playing golf at a GOLTEC Training Centre there," she said.

"He then convinced my sister and I to join him. It became a family bonding sport and we all became competitive amongst each other.

"We also played on the wonderful golf courses in California with the stunning weather, facilities and scenery. We then returned to Saudi and, at the time, there was no access to golf for us in Saudi. It became only a summer to summer hobby," added Haya.

Moving to Dubai

‘Post Covid we moved as a family to Dubai. I was looking to set up a business and I immediately thought of golf – as I had gone through that journey myself.

"I researched all the existing golf courses and facilities in Dubai and decided there was a gap in the market – to focus more on a statistical technology approach. I then decided to connect with GOLFTEC by email, they responded immediately, they were excited to partner with us in the Middle East and the rest is history.," said Haya of the first GOLFTEC Training Centre in the Middle East.

GOLFTEC currently has over 250 centres around the world; in the US, Canada and the Far East and now the UAE.

Speaking about how GOLFTEC is set up, Haya said: ‘There are five training bays at our City Walk facility, and the USP for GOLFTEC is that we use Optimotion – this technology measures the body’s motion.

"All movements and statistics are captured and measured – and these statistics are then calibrated and analysed by one of our PGA GOLFTEC coaches,’ continued Haya.

Video technology

‘All videos of lessons are recorded and uploaded to the client’s account, including the Coach’s notes and drills to practice.’

‘We also do ‘Custom Club Fitting’ which is so important for the committed golfer. The right technique and right equipment only adds to a golfer’s experience at GOLFTEC and the inevitable improvement in their games.," she said.

‘We have embraced the local UAE golfing community – we have partnered with the Emirates Golf Federation and are sponsors of various local golf tournaments; the UAE International Pairs, The Senior Champions Tour and the Race to Georgia.’

‘I am passionate about encouraging more women to get into the game. Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. It is a great way to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and socialize with friends.," added Haya.

‘We only opened in Dubai in May and our GOLFTEC vision is to expand to the region – Saudi is our next territory target.

Saudi sports investment

"I am so proud that Saudi is investing in sport and especially golf, by enhancing the existing golf facilities, building new golf courses, and collaborating with the Ladies European Tour, LIV Golf and so much more," she said.

"It gives the opportunity for all Saudis, especially the youth, both boys and girls, to engage with golf – with the support of the country,’ concluded Haya.

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