DUBAI – Tickets for the 29th edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic have gone on sale online, organisers of the longest-running European Tour event in the region have announced.
Tag-lined ‘Made for Greatness,’ the $3 million event enjoys an enviable reputation of having a roll of honour that includes 10 Major winners with a collective haul of 35 Major titles and will be staged at Emirates Golf Club from January 25 to 28.
With Spain’s Sergio Garcia confirming to defend his title, potential storylines are aplenty and it will be interesting to see who comes out of the evening shadows to inscribe his name on the iconic Dallah, as the coffee-shaped trophy is called in Arabic, in late January.
Building on his success in Dubai, Garcia went on to win the Masters tournament, emulating England’s Danny Willett who donned the famous green Jacket, following his Omega Dubai Desert Classic win in February in 2016.
Will the magic of Majlis course rub off on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National for the third time on the bounce? The question will be discussed ad nauseam, leading to lively debates in the run-up to the tournament.
The Omega Dubai Desert Classic week begins the customary Wednesday ProAm that will have a morning and afternoon draw, giving spectators a unique opportunity to see the top pros up close and personal in a relaxed atmosphere as they interact with their amateur playing partners. Entry to the ProAm is free.
Daily tickets for the four-day main competition, starting on January 25, are priced at Dh 175. A season pass, which provides access all week, is available for Dh 500. All those aged 16 and under will be allowed free entry to the course if they are accompanied by an adult who is holding a valid ticket for the day.
The 2017 edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic delivered an impressive media exposure for ‘Brand Dubai,’ with the global television coverage reaching over 451 million homes via 30 broadcasters worldwide with North America topping the chart with over 90 million household reach.
It generated a cumulative Global Media Equivalency $112 million (Dh 412 million), representing a healthy increase in exposure from last year’s figure of $106 million. Also, compared to 2016, Global Broadcast hours increased by 76 hours to 3140 hours, according to an independent Media Evaluation Report provided by Nielsen Sports.
The tournament week also recorded a healthy attendance of 44,015 fans. A total of 12,363 fans were on hand on Sunday, beating the previous best figure of 11,953 recorded in 2016 when England’s Danny Willett got the job done in style, his 22-under 266 matching the lowest winning total by Thomas Bjørn (2001) and Stephen Gallacher (2013) in the history of the tournament.
“We expect an even bigger turn-out of fans on all tournament days as most golfers feels like they are coming home to Dubai and that is the greatest legacy of the event, one that we cherish the most,” said David Spencer, the tournament director and advisor, adding: “This is also one big reason why the iconic Dallah, as the coffee-shaped trophy is called in Arabic, holds a special reverence to golfers.
“We have been fielding requests from a number of travel agencies, tour companies and golf fans around the world who want to visit Dubai and be part of the family atmosphere during the tournament,” he said.