Ladies European Tour to be hosted in Abu Dhabi for first time

Matt Jones - Editor 07:51 24/03/2016
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A new drive for UAE women’s golf: Norway’s Caroline Martens was the face of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open launch.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club will play host to the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open this November as the Ladies European Tour (LET) comes to Abu Dhabi for the first time.

Some of the very best professionals from the women’s game will grace the stunning Gary Player-designed course, with the field limited to 126 players for the tournament to be played November 2-5.

The latest addition to the calendar is the 21st stop on the 2016 LET schedule and will be the second stop from this year in the UAE, with the tournament joining the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, traditionally the season-ending championship since 2006.

The tournament will boast a prize fund of $550,000 (Dh2.02m) and will be organised by the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) with support from the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).

“We’re thrilled to be coming to Abu Dhabi in 2016,” LET CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh said at the launch of the tournament, which will take up a key position in the LET schedule.

“Abu Dhabi’s world-class portfolio of sporting events made it an obvious destination to bring something a little different, in the shape of our LET product. We can assure our stakeholders that the tournament will showcase the venue and destination to a worldwide audience.”

One of the professionals on show in November will be Norway’s Caroline Martens, who is currently 60th on the LET Order of Merit after four events.

“We’ve been wanting to play a tournament in Abu Dhabi for some time. The golf course will be one of the best we play all season and I know my fellow professionals will love the experience,” said the 29-year-old.

“We already take advantage of visiting Abu Dhabi whenever we can for the perfect climate and training facilities, now to have a tournament to play for as well is so exciting and I can’t wait for November.”

The new event is being held under the patronage of Her High- ness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak – President of the General Women’s Union, CEO of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

Alongside the tournament, the FBMA and ADSC also want to use the launch as a drive to get more Emirati women playing the sport.

“Hosting this new event is part of our commitment to encourage Emirati women to participate in all aspects of sport through sport education, training and competition,” said FBMA board member, Dr Mai Al Jaber.

“Alongside the world’s leading professionals playing a tourna- ment, a full schedule of community engagement activities will make this one of the most unique golf events in the UAE calendar.”

ADSC’s Aref Al Awani added: “The UAE leads the way in the advancement of the crucial role that women play in our society and this event will be a celebration of that. We sup- port promoting the women’s game and developing future generations of UAE sporting stars.”

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