Chal­lenge Tour event is a big suc­cess at Al Hamra Golf Club

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

Tourism chiefs in Ras Al Khaimah will use their drive to build the north­ern emi­rate as a world-class golf des­ti­na­tion fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful stag­ing of the Euro­pean Chal­lenge Tour event last week­end.

The Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Chal­lenge saw the Chal­lenge Tour stars dis­play their skills at Al Hamra Golf Club and the event “ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions” for those in­volved.

This wide­spread ac­claim is mu­sic to the ears of Haitham Mat­tar, CEO of tour­na­ment or­gan­is­ers Ras Al Khaimah Tourism De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RAKTDA).

“We were al­ways con­fi­dent the emi­rate would de­liver a world-class event be­fit­ting its sta­tus as the penul­ti­mate round on this year’s Euro­pean Chal­lenge Tour,” said Mat­tar.

“The ini­tial feed­back has been noth­ing short of ex­tra­or­di­nary and we’re al­ready look­ing for­ward to de­liv­er­ing an even stronger event in 2017.

“With the ex­pe­ri­ences of this year un­der our belts, we are in­tent on en­gag­ing our in­dus­try part­ners to en­sure Ras Al Khaimah de­liv­ers an emi­rate-wide fes­ti­val of golf in 2017.”

Nick Tar­ratt, Di­rec­tor of the Dubai of­fice of the PGA Euro­pean Tour, added: “All the play­ers, with­out ex­cep­tion, have been com­pli­men­tary of the fine golf course at Al Hamra Golf Club.

“The key ad­di­tional fac­tors for a good week for the Chal­lenge Tour are the prox­im­ity of the play­ers’ ho­tels and ac­com­mo­da­tion to the golf course and, fi­nally, the weather. Ras Al Khaimah has ex­ceeded all our ex­pec­ta­tions in all ar­eas.” With RAKTDA hold­ing the right to stage the penul­ti­mate Euro­pean Chal­lenge Tour event for an­other two years, Robert Fi­ala, Mar­ket­ing Man­ager of the Emi­rates Golf Fed­er­a­tion, is op­ti­mistic the tour­na­ment is here to stay. “What’s been de­liv­ered is a great ex­am­ple of the level of sport­ing event that Ras Al Khaimah can host – it’s been top class,” said Fi­ala. “This is only the first year and it’s been great. As the tour­na­ment ages and evolves it will at­tract more spec­ta­tors and more sponsors will want to sup­port its growth.” Af­ter four days of sun-drenched fair­ways, Al Hamra Golf Club course de­signer Peter Har­ra­dine be­lieves it held up well to the 105strong pro­fes­sional field. Har­ra­dine, the Prin­ci­pal & Se­nior Ar­chi­tect of Har­ra­dine Golf, said: “It played quite long this week but it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber this is a tourist course. “It was de­signed and built to be ac­ces­si­ble for am­a­teurs and reg­u­lar play­ers so the fair­ways are for­giv­ingly wide and there’s no real rough. “It’s proven to be a good chal­lenge and the course has helped shape a dra­matic end­ing to Ras Al Khaimah’s first pro­fes­sional golf event. It’s been a fan­tas­tic week and the emi­rate is now planted firmly on the pro­fes­sional golf map.” Jor­dan Smith wrote his name into UAE golf folk­lore by claim­ing vic­tory in the in­au­gu­ral Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Chal­lenge.

BIG PLANS FOR RAK: Haitham Mat­tar

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