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Published on : Monday, December 21, 2015
Golfers from around the world descended on the stunning Al Zorah Golf Club yesterday (Wednesday 9th December) as the Middle East’s newest championship golf course – and the first in the United Arab Emirates for over six years – was declared officially open for play.
Exactly two years to the day since construction started on the spectacular piece of land in Ajman, near Dubai, the breathtaking par-72, Nicklaus Design was officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, as golfers and high-profile government officials watched on. Those participating in a special opening event were the very first to play the final layout at the Troon Golf-managed course, located just 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport.
The mesmerising Al Zorah Golf Club – set amongst a naturally-preserved environment of native sandy areas, lakes and some one million square metres of mangroves – opened its doors in style after months of high-profile media previews. Incorporating ten par-4’s, four par-5’s and four par-3’s, the course has already exposed golfers to the unique tidal system that changes the proposition of several holes depending on whether they’re played in the morning or afternoon. Two magnificently-kept lakes also feature, including one that plays a prominent part in the standout par-3, 15th hole.
“Over the last two years, a tremendous amount of hard work has gone into ensuring Al Zorah Golf Club is the stunning layout that it is today,” said Philip Henderson, General Manager for Al Zorah Golf Club. “We’d like to thank Troon Golf for its exceptional management support throughout, as well as Nicklaus Design for the incredible job they’ve done in creating a world-class course layout, whilst maintaining the natural environment. Solidere International has also been instrumental in the ongoing development of properties at Al Zorah.
“During the construction phase we had more than 300 people working on the course and all have played a part in making Al Zorah Golf Club completely pristine and ready for action,” he added. “Outwith the native sandy areas, we used 300,000 cubic metres of sand, while there are also over 1.5km of boardwalks to cope with the incoming tides, so that gives an idea of the scale of work undertaken to open the course.”
Meanwhile, Bruce Glasco, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director, Troon International Division, commented: “We’re delighted to have played a part in the world-class proposition at Al Zorah Golf Club, and the final product is even better than originally expected. Now the course is open for business, we look forward to providing the level of service that this incredible venue deserves and hope it continues to help earn plaudits of golfers from all corners of the globe.”
In addition to the fascinating golf course, those attending the opening event at Al Zorah Golf Club were welcomed by the supremely-structured The Pavilion clubhouse, which will be replaced by an even more impressive clubhouse in 2017. By the end of next year, golfers will be able to use the first of four marinas planned, as well as the five-star Oberoi Al Zorah Beach Resort.
Imad Dana, CEO, Al Zorah Development Company, said: “The Government of Ajman’s support to Al Zorah has been crucial to the progress of the project and we are truly grateful for it. The spectacular golf course will add a sense of serenity for Al Zorah’s residents and visitors. H.H. Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi’s visit emphasises the importance of this destination which will eventually transform Ajman into a lifestyle and business destination for those who seek the finest in life.”
Significantly, the Al Zorah Golf Club site has been designated a Free Hold Zone by the Government of Ajman, meaning the land is not only legal to build on, but also to live on too. Constructed in conjunction with real estate developer and property manager Solidere International, there are several Al Zorah Golf Villas as part of an initial development, offering a more relaxed way of living amongst natural landscapes and wildlife.