The NBO Oman Golf Classic will have a combined economic impact to Oman of nearly $30 million a year, according to Nick Tarrat, Director of the European Tour’s Dubai office.
The Challenge Tour first came to Oman in 2013 in the form of a challenge tour event, the NBO Golf Classic, with 105 players and a $300,000 prize fund. Following two challenge tour events, NBO and Omani officials were invited to become the Grand Final of the Challenge linked to the Road to Oman, formerly termed the Challenge Tour’s Order of Merit.
This year’s edition – the third NBO Golf Classic Grand Final at Al Mouj Golf – will have a prize fund of $495,000 (420,000 euros) to be shared among the leading 45 players, with an additional road to Oman Bonus pool of $100,000 to be shared amongst the top three players on the season.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Tarratt said that independently verified reports estimate the economic impact to Oman of the NBO Golf Challenge to be $1.3 million, with a total impact of $11.9 million over a 52-week period every year.
The NBO Golf Classic, for its part, has an economic impact of $10 million, or $28 million over a 52-week period.
Tarratt noted that the figures do not include the media value of hosting a golf tournament.
“The 2018 NBO Oman Golf Classic will have a minimum of 20 hours of live TV coverage beamed around the world, with a home reach in excess of 300 million,” he said. “This has huge value to the golf industry in Oman, with our European Tour mantra of ‘play where the pros play’, [which is] unique to the sport of golf.”
Earlier this year, the European Tour announced that the 2018 edition of the Golf Classic will become a full European Tour event, running between February 15th and February 18th.
According to Tarratt, the event, which will have a prize fund of $1.75 million ad involve 132 players, will “now be the largest sporting event in the Sultanate.”
‘The future is very bright,” he added. “[But] having tournaments and European Tour initiatives in this region are not viable if they are in isolation. We are a tour so we need joined-up thinking to create playing opportunities for all our members are whatever level.”
“We would like to see all the countries in this region having buy-in for a European Tour approach and partnerships with us, which I am confident will be the case through our partnerships in the region,” he said.
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