The Omega Dubai Desert Classic is all set to give spectators’ experience a major uplift this week with the new ‘DallahDrome’, a grandstand overlooking the first tee at Emirates Golf Club.
The DallahDrome is attached to the clubhouse and overlooks the first tee, with a new giant LED screen erected in the area between the first tee and the driving range.
It will seat 600 fans, who will also be able to access part of the clubhouse, which was not allowed for general ticket holders in the past.
The Dallah Sports Bar, created just behind the main seating area, will offer plenty of food and beverage options, and as many as 14 TV screens. The food menu for DallahDrome has been specially designed and priced for added value and variety.
The LED screen will also show live coverage of the tournament on Saturday and Sunday, once the leadergroup tees off from the first tee.
In the evening, for those fans who want to enjoy some world-class rugby, Six Nations Rugby live action will also be available.
David Spencer, strategic advisor to organisers ‘golf in DUBAi’ explained the idea behind the new creation.
“Mohamed (Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman of golf in DUBAi) and his team are always looking at ways to enhance the experience for the fans. That is something which is very high in our priority,” said Spencer.
“We always felt the first tee experience was slightly lacking because the stand was side-on to the tee. So, the fans could not see the shot shape and the elevation that the pros get. And we wanted to create a bit of excitement.
“So, we have the DallahDrome. Dallah is named after the Arabian Coffee Pot, which is also our tournament trophy. And drome because it is elevated above the first tee. The way we see it, it will be a VIP experience for the fans without having the VIP credentials.
“I really think this will be one of the major spectator viewing experience in the Middle East.”
Entry to the DallahDrome is free for those holding valid tickets for the course.
From the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to the Dubai Tour, this is one of the busiest weeks in the Dubai sporting calendar.
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Continues from Sunday, January 29 to Friday, February 3
World-class polo action continues in Dubai this week with the eighth edition of the McLaren Cup.
As part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup series, the tournament runs until February 3 at Al Habtoor Polo Resort.
The Gold Cup Series is only behind Argentina, the US and UK in size and is played under the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) banner.
WHERE: Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, Dubai
MORE INFO: dubaipologoldcup.com
OMEGA DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC 2017
Thursday, February 2 to Sunday, February 5
The Omega Dubai Desert Classic first came to the UAE in 1989. Since then, the honours board has included seven different major champions including Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Now organised by Golf in Dubai, the tournament – nicknamed the “Major of the Middle East” – has welcomed more than 20 winners from 12 nations.
Last year, the 27th edition was won by England’s Danny Willett, who went on to win his first Masters title two months later. The 2016 Dubai Desert Classic field included 89 European Tour winners, eight major champions, 20 Ryder Cup stars and two of the globe’s top six golfers. Not too shabby, eh?
With McIlroy out injured this year, most eyes will be on how Woods will fare in Dubai.
PRACTICE ROUNDS: Monday, January 30 and Tuesday, January 31
WHERE: Emirates Golf Club
MORE INFO: dubaidesertclassic.com
DUBAI TOUR 2017 – STAGE 1 TO 4
Tuesday, January 31 to Saturday, February 4 (final stage)
The Dubai Tour returns as the cream of professional cycling take part in the four-stage event.
The event has come a long way since its debut back in 2014, with more UCI World Tour teams participating with each passing year.
The first and second edition saw American Taylor Phinney and Briton Mark Cavendish come out on top respectively while Quick-Step Floors’ Marcel Kittel was triumphant after winning two stages in 2016’s iteration.
Presently entering its fourth edition, the Dubai Tour has collectively entertained more than 120 riders and is set to once again receive cycling’s best teams as they vie for victory in the emirate.
WHERE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL MARINE CLUB
MORE INFO: dubaitour.com
BESPORT INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL WINTER SERIES – RACE 3
Friday, February 3
Test your cycling prowess with the BeSport individual time trial series.
Besport’s annual individual time trials series is back at Al Wathba track this winter. The seasonal four-race event has riders released at one-minute intervals, as they tackle the track’s 30km loop.
Youth participation is greatly encouraged with alternative 8km and 16km races running alongside the main cycling event.
The winner of the 30k time trial will win 1,500 AED, while second place takes home 1,000 AED and third 500 AED. Also, the top three will also receive medals and BeSport store vouchers.
WHERE: Al Wathba Cycling Track
MORE INFO: besport.ae/besport-itt/c66i
GEMS TRIATHLON CHALLENGE 2017
Friday, February 3
Dust off your swimming goggles, grease your bike chains, inflate the tires and lace up your running shoes for the GEMS Triathlon Challenge.
It all began in 2014 when GEMS Education invited students, parents and teaching staff from universities and school across the UAE to participate in the inaugural triathlon.
The event proved a great success and the triathlon proudly announces its third edition in February.
The family-inclusive event involves diverse race categories for all ages, meaning everyone willing to swim, bike and run the appropriate distances are more than welcome to confirm their presence at the GEMS Wellingtom Academy.
Medals will be awarded to the best athletes.
WHERE: Gems Wellington Academy
EMAIL: [email protected]
GIANT DUATHLON SERIES 2016-2017 – FINAL RACE
Friday, February 3
The Giant Duathlon Series is aimed at triathletes, duathletes, cyclists, runners and fitness enthusiasts, of all ages and abilities.
Whether you are a beginner or a finely tuned athlete, the Giant Duathlon Series offers a test of endurance.
Each race is run/bike/run and will be open to individuals and teams of 2. Age groups are calculated as of your AGE on race day. If you move age groups half way through the series, your series points will be counted for the age group you were in for your first race of the series.
Kids are welcome too as the courses are ‘traffic friendly’, providing the greatest degree of safety for all competitors. Roads are exclusively booked to shield participants from potential perils.
Each of the five stages present specific routes and distances to spice up competition while showing off Dubai’s multiple iconic locations.
Contestants earn circuit points leading up to the fifth and final race, in which double points are awarded; Duathletes accumulating the highest tally earn silverware to place atop their mantelpiece as well as token prizes.
WHERE: Hamdan Sports Complex
MORE INFO: race-me-events.com
SALOMON WADI BIH RUN 2017
Friday, February 3
The Wadi Bih Run is organised by a team of dedicated volunteers who all share a love of the great outdoors and specifically the Wadis and mountains of the Northern Emirates.
The organising committee is a non-profit group whose objective is to encourage people to venture outside of urban sprawl of the UAE and their comfort limits to physically and mentally challenge themselves against the mountains in a truly spectacular environment.
New solo routes are announced for the 25th edition of the Salomon Wadi Bih Run, which takes place from 3–4 February 2017 from the Golden Tulip Hotel in Dibba, Oman.
The original 72km team relay race takes place on Saturday, February 4, 2017. All three solo events – 30km, 50km, 72km and the 50km family relay race – take place on Friday, February 3.
WHERE: Golden Tulip Hotel, Dibba
MORE INFO: https://wadibih.com/
DUBAI DESERT ROAD RUN 3KM AND 19KM – RUN 3
Saturday, February 4
Sign up now for the Dubai Desert Road Run, one of the UAE’s most popular running events.
Held several times a year, the Desert Road Run appeals to athletes of all levels, from first timers to seasoned runners.
Essentially a community run encouraging participation, the course has a private traffic-free road that extends to a 10km distance for experienced runners, and 3km for newcomers.
WHERE: The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
MORE INFO: http://www.dubairunning.com/
The Moroccan duo of Ahmed Marjan and Younes El Hassani will fly the Arab flag at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which starts at Emirates Golf Club from February 2.
The two MENA Golf Tour regulars will join a world-class field headlined by 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, the Open champion Henrik Stenson and the Masters winner Danny Willett among other elite golfers, mindful that a good performance could well mark a watershed moment in their careers.
Marjan earned his spot in the starting line-up of the European Tour’s longest-running event in the Middle East for being the No1 Arab golfer on the MENA Golf Tour while El Hassani has been handed a special invitation as part of strong bilateral ties between ‘golf in DUBAi’ and the Hassan II Trophy, which became a full European Tour event in 2010.
Both the Moroccans have previous experience of playing European Tour events, having competed in the Desert Classic and the Hassan II Trophy a couple of times and know what it takes to compete at the highest level.
“We just have to go out there and be positive,” said Marjan, the first professional golfer from the Arab world to win a MENA Golf Tour event, a feat he achieved at the 2014 Ras Al Khaimah Classic.
“I missed the cut at Emirates Golf Club last year by one shot, so obviously the first goal is to try and make it to the weekend. I just need to relax and go out there and not think about everyone else and just play my own game.”
One of the most consistent performers on the MENA Golf Tour, El Hassani believes playing in the Desert Classic represents a great opportunity for him to showcase the rising standards of the game in Morocco.
“The MENA Golf Tour has been the catalyst for putting Arab golf on the international sporting map. People now know we play golf and we are good at it,” said the 43-year-old from Tangiers.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I will definitely try and give my best shot and see where that leaves me. It’s an opportunity money can’t buy. So, it’s perfect, really,” he added.
Tickets for the tournament are on sale and can be bought online on dubaidesertclassic.com