Organisers of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, have announced the event will run from January 15 – 18 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Championship title sponsor HSBC have confirmed preparations are in full swing ahead of the milestone, which will reflect the event’s remarkable growth over the past decade.
Teeing off in 2006 under the former Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (now TCA Abu Dhabi), the Championship is recognised as one of the leading events on the European Tour. It has welcomed some of golf’s biggest names over the years, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.
Last year the event attracted over 63,000 fans and was beamed to a global TV audience of over 436 million.
“The Championship has enjoyed rapid growth since launching and we are very much looking forward to celebrating its success over past 10 years and recognising what has now become one of the Gulf’s most-loved sporting events,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Director, Events Bureau, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“We are deeply gratified by the reputation the Championship holds with the players who enjoy coming to Abu Dhabi and our valued sponsors and partners who have helped us to grow this event into what it is today. We have some exciting plans underway to recognise the 10-year milestone and look forward to welcoming everyone to help us celebrate this special occasion.”
Since its inception, the Championship has teed off every January at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, evolving to become the jewel in the desert that forms part of the Tour’s ‘Gulf Swing’. Each year, the event welcomes one of the European Tour’s leading player fields who vie for the iconic Falcon Trophy and a cut of the $2.7million prize purse, the richest in the region.
Global bank HSBC joined as title sponsor of the Championship in 2010, and has played a key role in driving the event forward. Working in partnership with the TCA Abu Dhabi to attract the game’s greatest players to the emirate, the bank has also helped to further enhance the Championship Village into one of the best off-course entertainment venues of any regional sporting event.
HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said: “HSBC’s ambition is to open up the world of golf. That is exactly why we are involved in golf and in this tournament. I believe we are fulfilling our ambition in Abu Dhabi and by working closely with our partners this Championship has evolved into an unmissable event which appeals to absolutely everyone.
“The Championship brings together all the ingredients’ required to excite and attract families, avid golfers and those completely new to the game. The result is the perfect mix of the world’s best players competing in a great tournament on a stunning course alongside a host of family-friendly activities and entertainment. It’s a winning formula and one we are continuing to build upon as we look to celebrate the landmark achievement of the 10th anniversary tournament and five years of HSBC sponsorship.”
The Championship was initially created to further enhance Abu Dhabi’s profile as an international golf tourism destination, and showcase the world-class offering of the one-stop Golf in Abu Dhabi booking and packaging initiative. With three championship-standard courses within a 20-minute drive of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi’s golf tourism offering has seen growth year-on-year.
Overseas rounds increased by a massive 50 percent in 2012-2013, with total rounds also increasing by 15 per cent during the same time. The first quarter of this year has continued the trend, with overseas rounds up by a further 19 per cent.
Golf in Abu Dhabi has created tailored packages to suit all types of players and itineraries, including packages for the 2015 Championship. Championship packages include 5 nights’ accommodation in one of Abu Dhabi’s leading hotels, two rounds of golf on Abu Dhabi’s Championship courses, season passes to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship as well as an array of stunning tourism attractions. To top this off, all those who book packages will enjoy a complimentary clinic with a world top 30 player.
Earlier this year, the Championship was also billed, for the second year running, as the region’s best professional sporting event at the Middle East Sports Industry Awards (SPIA).
Photograph: Getty Images