(Press Release) -Â In a glittering ceremony to honour the best golfing destinations around the world, Dubai, for the third time in a decade, walked away with the Destination of the Year Award for Africa, Gulf States and the Indian Ocean. The prestigious award was received by Hamad Bin Mejren, Executive Director -Â BusinessÂ Tourism at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) at a gala dinner in the Algarve, Portugal.
The award formed the culminating moment of DTCMâ€™s highly successful participation in the 2012 InternationalÂ Golf TravelÂ Market (IGTM), which took place from 12 to 15 November. DTCMâ€™s exhibit, which brought together the top golf clubs in the Emirate to showcase the exceptional diversity Dubai has to offer as a golfing destination, was extremely well received and garnered high praise from across the broad spectrum of the worldâ€™s international golfing stakeholders.
Held on the concluding day of IGTM and organised by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) â€“ the global trade body for the golf tourism industry â€“ the event is one of the most important highlights of the year for the worldâ€™s vast audience of fifty million golfers.
On the occasion, Hamad Bin Mejren commented, â€œDubaiâ€™s golf industry continues to grow and flourish. This award is a true testament to all of the efforts that the golf course developers and operators have put into delivering exceptional experiences for our guests. We are thankful to the members of IAGTO for their faith and support of Dubai as a premier golf destination and for giving us this award. This accolade will help us to continue to grow the sport and to promote the destination and to highlight the genuinely successful golf industry in Dubai.â€
Out of IAGTOâ€™s approximate 470 core specialist golf tour operators based in 59 countries across the world, 178 actively sell Dubai and voted the region as the best golfing destination for the region which includes Africa, the Gulf States and the Indian Ocean.
The city had previously won the award in 2009, having also received the Emerging Golf Destination of the Year award in 2002.
The United ArabÂ EmiratesÂ has been welcoming golfers since 1988 when the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club, often referred to as The Desert Miracle, became the first grass course to open in the region. In the 24 years that has followed Dubai has introduced a host of world class golf courses, with the Emirates Golf Club set to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year and the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club its 20th.
Dubai has also become a major destination on the regional and international golf tour circuit, welcoming the worldâ€™s very best players to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club, in addition to the prestigious DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the season finale of the European Tour which is held on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation for the golf tourism industry with its operators selling over 85% of all golf holiday packages worldwide with an estimated turnover of more than â‚¬1 billion per year. IAGTO is focussed on maintaining and raising standards throughout the industry and helps destinations position themselves not only to attract more business but to deliver the best possible experience to the visiting golf traveller. Over the past decade IAGTO has produced Golf Tourism Strategies for more than 25 countries and regions and provides consultation and advice to many more on a continual basis.
DTCM is the principal authority for the development of tourism in Dubai. Established in 1997, it is the sole licensing body for hotel establishments and tourism-related businesses. Its supervisory role covers heritage sites, the cruise terminal, and convention bureau. DTCM has 18 overseas offices, including locations in Europe, Asia and North America. For nearly two decades, the DTCM has been focussed on promoting Dubai as a world-class tourism destination and their efforts has taken it from a little known Middle Eastern city to a globally recognised tourism brand. As part of its integrated publicity programme, the DTCM carries out exhibitions, product shows, road shows, VIP and executive missions, and marketing activities.