Golf Saudi unveiled its progressive environmental strategy during tournament week of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. During the first day of press conferences, Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation outlined a series of initiatives the group have put in place over the last twelve months, with particular reference to its pioneering environmental initiatives.
“It has been a productive twelve months, but we have only just begun,” commented Al-Sorour. “A key driver has been our environmental strategy; bringing together a consortium of industry leaders to develop a national policy that will propel Saudi Arabia to the forefront of environmental development. It is of paramount importance to our national transformation and is a top priority.”
The environmental strategy to date has seen Golf Saudi align with Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) in order to develop a national program that advises and informs on best-practice across new developments. The initiative will adopt a comprehensive approach with an overarching mission to instil a culture of environmental and ecological innovation. GEO will collaborate with STRI to help achieve sustainability goals for; low carbon, resource efficient and ecologically rich golf courses, which are supported by new knowledge and expertise that will drive delivery. The aim is to create the most robust and progressive environmental and soil science strategy in world golf.
In the same vein, a unique turf business has been created, drawing on the expertise and resource of Atlas Turf International Ltd to create a turf farm in the Kingdom that meets international sustainability standards, supplying all Golf Saudi developments and landscaping projects with necessary turf requirements, thereby minimising transportation and providing adapted grasses that require the lowest amounts of reclaimed water and other inputs, whilst delivering highest quality standards.
Al-Sorour continued; “Our objective is to create an ecosystem for golf in Saudi Arabia. Ensuring that we can deal with a range of factors including tourism, job creation, sustainability and any environmental concerns. Hosting events such as the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers has allowed us to not only lay down initial infrastructure but to also gain more exposure around the world, so people can begin to realise that we are serious about becoming a destination for golfers.”
To build on the initial progress made by Golf Saudi in its first year, a business summit is being held, taking place in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 2-4 February, 2020. The Golf Saudi Summit will welcome government ministers, senior executives along with former players to give their take on the future of the game. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to tap into Golf Saudi’s development directly, through a series of panels, discussions and networking opportunities focused on real estate, corporate, tourism and business-to-business affairs.
“Our ambition is to showcase Saudi Arabia’s progress to date, ensuring golf plays a major part in delivering Vision 2030, including the positive socio-economic output of our golf investment,” continued Al Sorour. “The summit will bring industry leaders together to debate key topics, whilst engaging with Saudi stakeholders. This will create the best platform to do business and allow us to further our objectives.”
To ensure Golf Saudi achieves its aims, the organisation has set a series of targets it would like to achieve by 2030. Set out against the designated five core pillars, some of these include: increasing golf club membership to 20,000, ensuring over one million Saudis have actively tried golf, attract at least 5,000 international golf visitors per annum, host 60,000 visitors to Saudi-based golfing events every year and oversee the construction of over twenty new golf courses.
At the heart of Golf Saudi’s strategy is innovation and best practice. This pioneering spirit is a key requisite for the country’s cutting-edge strategy and will be a statement of intent for what Golf Saudi aims to achieve with its dynamic golf development programme.
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