These 9 must-play courses in the United Arab Emirates are a delight

Yas Links UAE

Naturally, much of the UAE consists of desert, which is ideal for golf courses – as long as you add some water, ok a lot of water, and some creative hybrid grass.

According to the Emirates Golf Federation, there are 21 golf clubs in the sheikhdom of the UAE, with the number steadily increasing. The bulk of clubs are concentrated in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, however, clubs can also be found in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.

The UAE is eager to become a sports playground for the world.

Yas Links

Yas Links has a reputation for being not only the first true links course in the UAE but also a great golfing experience that comes at a reasonable price.

The Kyle Phillips-designed course, which hosted the 2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, is ranked No 34 in Golf Digest’s global golf rankings and blends scenic splendour with the excitement of golf’s ultimate test.

Dubai Hills

Gary Johnston designed the course, which opened in 2018 and has sparkling lakes, spacious fairways, and gorgeous greens which have put it on plenty of player’s bucket lists.

Golfers of all abilities may enjoy the memorable holes that are both playable and demanding, with beautiful views of the city’s cityscape. The 18-hole par-72 championship course will put your talents to the test while also reminding you of the magnificent vista of the Burj Khalifa.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

The stunning Par 72 Saadiyat Beach Golf Club was the first beachfront course in the Arabian Gulf.

The 18-hole championship course and top-of-the-line practice facilities, designed by golfing icon Gary Player, utilise the grandeur of Saadiyat Island to provide a unique golfing experience with views of the Gulf’s shimmering waters. Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is a world-class golfing resort that hosted the inaugural Ladies European Tour event in Abu Dhabi, the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, and was named ‘Best Course in the UAE’ in 2015 and ‘Best Course in Abu Dhabi’ in 2019.

Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth)

The Greg Norman-designed Earth Course is a magical offering from Jumeirah Golf Estates, and it has immediately earned a solid reputation as a top-class course since opening for play in 2009, as seen by its hosting of the Dubai World Championships. The breathtaking Earth Course continues to host the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and is widely recognised as one of the most popular courses on the European Tour schedule.

The fairways are large, so big hitters will like driving it, but the course’s natural undulations provide for some tough iron shots into massive, audaciously sloped greens. The fairways and greens are bordered by rough and white sandy bunkers but the hazards are not too harsh.

The Els Club – Dubai

The Els Club offers a variety of amenities to make players’ experiences unforgettable. When you arrive at the clubhouse, you can take a load off by using the bag drop, where your golf butler will be ready to greet you and prepare your cart.

The practise areas are well-stocked with range balls of high quality and the course staff do make sure that your golfing experience is top-notch.

Emirates Golf Club (Majlis)

The Majlis championship course at Emirates Golf Club is a tough par 72, 7,301-yard layout. The original 18 holes were designed by Florida-based course architect Karl Litten and built in and around the dunes of a beautiful site on the outskirts of Dubai, donated by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on whose instructions the desert flora was preserved in its natural state.

The Majlis course has earned a worldwide reputation as an intimidating test for even the greatest golfers. Hundreds of indigenous species of flora and animals grace the course, which is nicely matched by meandering fairways and seven fresh and saltwater lakes.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

The 7,009-yard par 71 course at Dubai Creek is a fascinating trip from the first tee to the 18th green. The beautifully groomed fairways are undulating and bordered by mounds, date and palm palms, and, at times, water. Aside from the Creek, which plays a role in at least four holes, other constructed lakes enhance the beauty and challenge of the remaining holes.

With two par 4 closing holes, the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club course sets up for an exciting finish to a round. The Creek guards the whole left side of the fairway on the 17th and 18th holes. While the 17th can still be beaten with sufficient cunning, the 18th necessitates the use of one’s full faculties.

Al Zorah Golf Club

Nicklaus Design, the business of famed 18-time Major Champion – Jack Nicklaus, developed the golf course, which contains an 18-hole championship layout and incredible driving range.

Set in a stunning natural environment with flowing dunes and an in-land Mangrove area, the highly desirable location will provide golfers with a one-of-a-kind golf experience, with water levels shifting with the tides throughout the day and finished with pristine paspalum grass course conditioning.

Jumeirah Golf Estates (Fire)

Fire is a demanding and, needless to say, flaming test for golfers of all levels, designed by Greg Norman to exist in harmony with the natural desert setting. While the Earth course employs bright hues to offer contrast, the Fire course uses more refined colours. The natural grasses have a golden gleam in the sunlight, and massive terracotta bunkers interrupt the rolling terrain away from the beautiful playing areas.

Fire is in total harmony with its surroundings, framed by a broad range of intriguing vegetation that has been meticulously picked to fit the overall theme and to enhance its natural environment.