Emirates Golf Club, host of the European Tour-sanctioned Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, became the first all natural grass championship golf course in the Middle East when it opened in 1988. Taking pride in its 36 holes of world-class golf, the club sports two of the city's must-play courses, the Majlis and the Faldo Course – the latter also offering the only 18 hole course in the region to offer night golf.
The land on which the club was built was donated by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the proviso that the natural vegetation was preserved – which gives the course it's unique oasis feel.
The Majlis Course, on which the Dubai Desert Classic is played, has earned a number of plaudits and awards over the years. As recently as 2010, it was included in Golf World magazine's Top 100 Golf Courses in the World. The same year, it won the Best Course Middle East at the Asian Golf Monthly Awards.
MEMBERSHIP: Individual annual membership costs AED 29,000 – and demand is high. Members are also invited to enjoy the leisure facilities on offer at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, as well as enjoy reciprocal signing agreements at their pro shops, bars and restaurants.
FACILITIES: In addition to the golf course, the Emirates Golf Club features many fantastic facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasium, squash court, tennis academy, "paddel tennis" and a spa. The restaurants are also worth a visit in their own right:
Le Classique: Something of an instirution, this French restaurant has walked off with a number of awards, including the What's On Chef's Choice Restaurant Winner in 2004 and 2007.
M's: A modern Mediterrannean and Middle Eastern restaurant, which is a staple on the Friday brunch scene.
Majlis Course: The original and still one of the best. In its 25th year, the Majlis course still provides a challenge for all standards of golfer. Along with the Earth Course, this is perhaps the most undulating course in the UAE with a great variety of holes – the best of which include the fantastic dog-leg (right), par 4 8th and a magnificent dog-leg (left) par 5 over water to finish.
It's certainly not an easy course, but if offers competent golfers a very different challenge on every hole. Every golfer who comes to the UAE must play this course.