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EXCLUSIVE: Three-time Dubai Desert Classic champion Ernie Els has promised to renew his ties with the Middle East from next season.

Els, speaking to Sport360° on the eve of the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, said he is also keen to make his debut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

The resurgent Els, who has been posting some excellent results lately, said: “Yes, I have decided to go back to the Middle East and start my season there.

“I have already spoken to Adrian (Flaherty, tournament director of Omega Dubai Desert Classic) and confirmed that I will be coming to Dubai. And I have never played in Abu Dhabi, but I have heard some very good things about their tournament, so I will possibly add that to my schedule as well.”

Els, who has not played in the Middle East the last couple of years, will also add Qatar to his schedule, thus completing the entire Desert Swing.

Els added: “One of the main reasons I stopped coming to the UAE was because I shifted my base to Florida and that was a major move for us. I needed to be in the US and I cut down my travelling a lot.

“With things looking more settled with the family there, I can start playing the schedule I love. And I love being in Dubai and the Middle East. I have had a history of almost 20 years with the place and the people there.

“Even though I was playing some very good tournaments in the US during that particular period, it’s never the same thing. California is nice, but I enjoy being in Dubai more.”

The 1994 Omega Dubai Desert Classic win was Els’ first on the European Tour. He has also designed a course in Dubai, The Els Club.