Abu Dhabi eyes golf tourism to increase visitor numbers

The emirate is establishing a new committee to promote its golf tourism ambitions.



Abu Dhabi has announced plans to further its goal of becoming a global golf tourism hub, and has established a committee and a new portal within its tourism website to promote its offering.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said it is targeting expanding golf markets in Europe, China, India and the GCC.

The authority has set up an Industry Development Committee (IDC) along with Abu Dhabi’s golf courses, tour operators, hoteliers and destination promotion agencies to support its golf tourism ambitions.

The IDC will focus on facilitating networking opportunities for golf courses and tour operators ahead of the build up to the winter golfing season across the emirate, a statement said.

The authority is also planning several promotional awareness campaigns across the world, with a focus on Europe. It will hold a series of joint marketing promotions, familiarisation visits and major golf event promotional activities in the region.

The IDC will also be working with clubs and domestic tour operators to develop packages in the emirate, including special ‘night golf’ deals.

“Abu Dhabi is now perceived as one of the world’s foremost golf destinations, and through our Golf In Abu Dhabi initiative, we have been able to attract visitors to the emirate to enjoy our golfing experience by growing awareness of the diversity of our courses to develop the golf tourism sector,” said Sameer Taher Bagaber, IDC Golf Clubs chairman and section manager, Strategy and Policy Department, TCA Abu Dhabi.

The TCA Abu Dhabi has also established a new dedicated golf portal on visitabudhabi, the official Abu Dhabi tourism website, which will provide golf enthusiasts with golf holiday options and booking tools.

The website will host individual pages for each of the emirate’s golf clubs in nine languages, and will be supported by a dedicated packages section. It will allow users to book rounds directly with the individual golf clubs.

All of the TCA Abu Dhabi’s global campaigns will drive users to the site, and the site will also feature information on the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the European tour’s annual event held on the National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club every January.

The four-day championship attracted over 65,000 fans this year.

“Our international golfing footprint is widening and visitors are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they research and book their stay, so by expanding the availability of golf information and direct booking access via the visitabudhabi website represents a significant regional competitive advantage and broadens the opportunity to extend our golf tourism message to other regular website users,” said Bagaber.

The emirate first launched its Golf In Abu Dhabi initiative in 2011, as a marketing, communications, product packaging and distribution platform to expand into the golf tourism segment.