Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has announced that the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, with prize money of US$2m will be part of the European Tour in 2006. Commenting on the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, said, “The inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship will be a very prestigious international sporting event, staged in Abu Dhabi, heralding a new era in the Emirate’s development as a world-class sporting venue.”
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has involved IMG to manage and stage the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Abu Dhabi is one of 49 tournaments on the 2006 European Tour Schedule that will be held in 24 countries.
The Championship will be broadcast to more than 300 million households across 60 countries with up to 700 hours of live coverage. The announcement reinforces the United Arab Emirates as a world-class golfing destination. The capital city, Abu Dhabi, has embarked on a fast track to tourism development.
The event will also underline Abu Dhabi Government’s commitment to developing and diversifying the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure in coming years. IMG and the European Tour have identified and recommended a number of modifications to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course, originally designed by Peter Harradine.
These are being put in place to ensure that the course provides a stiff test and searching examination for the world’s leading golfers. Mike Clarke, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s course superintendent is overseeing all the modifications and is already into a maintenance programme designed to ensure that the golf course is in peak condition for the inaugural tournament in January.