Dubai is fast becoming one of the world's leading golf destinations, and is home to several world class courses offering immaculate fairways and spectacular scenery. Add in year-round sunshine and warm temperatures and it's easy to see why so many people choose to swing their clubs in Dubai. Check out the top courses to play below.
Emirates Golf Club: Majlis Course
Dubai's skyline serves as the backdrop for the two Emirates Golf Club courses, with the spectacular par 72 championship Majlis course regularly ranking amongst the top 100 in the world. The fairways on the Middle East's first grass course stretch past lakes and sand dunes, meaning there's no shortage of natural beauty for you to enjoy whilst negotiating the par 72 course. The 18 holes are played out across 7,301 yards of fairways and greens, with the 8th hole often considered the most challenging: a precise uphill drive is required of those hoping to achieve the target par 4.
The Majlis is the most prestigious course in Dubai, having hosted the Dubai Desert Classic tournament on several occasions. Pre-booking a tee time is therefore highly recommended, particularly on weekends. Make sure you arrive early in order to set aside some time to explore the impressive clubhouse, complete with a bar and restaurant. Green fees vary in accordance with peak and off-peak times, with all fees including golf cart hire and balls for the driving range. And if you fancy making a permanent mark on the Majlis by setting a course record, then a par 61 is the score to beat! It was set back in 1994 by none other than 'The Big Easy' himself, Ernie Els. As a former World Number One, however, he'll certainly take some beating…
The Emirates Golf Club's second course sits next to the Majlis and takes its name from six-time major winner Nick Faldo, who redesigned the course in 2005. Although not as prestigious as the Majlis, it is quickly earning a reputation as one of the finest courses in the emirate. As well as being a par 72, The Faldo Course is marginally larger than the Majlis at 7,348 yards. It also happens to be Dubai's only fully floodlit 18-hole course, meaning golfers can tee-off right up until 7.45pm every evening. If you opt to play just 9 holes, however, the tee-off time drops back to 9.55pm – with the course staying open until the clock strikes midnight.
Regardless of what time of day you choose to hit the fairway, there are plenty of challenges awaiting you – no matter how impressive that handicap is. The majority of holes involve negotiating water and bunkers, so precision tends to take precedence over long, powerful drives. The Faldo course is cheaper than Majlis, with peak rates charged on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Immaculate fairways, a unique clubhouse and stunning ocean views have been the hallmark of Dubai Creek Golf Course since it first opened in January 1993.The nearly 7,000 yard long course is a par 71, although a 9-hole par 3 course is also available for golfers of all abilities. The main course has played host to both the Dubai Desert Classic and the Asian PGA Tour, and is renowned for its narrow fairways flanked by lakes, sea water, waterfalls and palm trees. The 6th hole is easily the most memorable, with the tee-off located on a podium which stretches out over the ocean.
The course is located on the natural creek which runs along the city, offering eye-catching views which played a part in earning it a place on the world's 'Top 100 Must-Play Golf Courses'. The spectacular clubhouse, meanwhile, is an attraction in itself - its design mimics a traditional Arab sailing vessel. It acts as a nod to the area's seafaring past, and in true Dubai fashion, it oozes style and glamour.
Fire & Earth at Jumeirah Golf Estates
Jumeirah Golf Estates is home to two world-class championship courses, Fire and Earth, and is located just a short drive away from the Radisson BluHotel Dubai Media City or the Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina. Both courses are designed with a view to working in harmony with the existing landscape, so sand naturally plays a key role; hence why there's no shortage of bunkers on either of the par 72 courses – both of which measure over 7,000 yards in length. In fact, Earth features no less than 102 bunkers as well as 20 lakes surrounded by thousands of trees. The final four holes are played alongside water and prove a stellar test for even the most seasoned golfer, having been dubbed 'the most challenging mile in golf' by Greg Norman,the course creator. Fire may have fewer bunkers and lakes, but after easing in on the first three holes the course begins to ask questions with a series of par 4 and par 5 holes which are often hampered by wind. Weekday green fees for non-members at Fire cost 595 AED (€116), whilst Earth charges 695 AED (€135).