Revealed: Tiger Woods paid $55.4m for failed Dubai golf resort

Golf superstar signed new deal with Dubai's Tatweer three weeks before Lehman Brothers' collapse in 2008

In total, the potential value of the new Tatweer deal was worth $98.8m to Tiger Woods (ITP Images)

In total, the potential value of the new Tatweer deal was worth $98.8m to Tiger Woods (ITP Images)

Tiger Woods received $55.4m from UAE developer Tatweer to promote a golf resort in Dubai, just 24 days before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Documents seen by Arabian Business reveal that Woods was originally paid $26,250,000 to promote the Tiger Woods Dubai resort, following a contract first signed on 20 June 2006.

However, on 22 August 2008, both Woods and Tatweer signed an “Amendment to Golf Course Design and License Agreement” which contained 15 new clauses.

On top of the $26,250,000 already paid to Woods' company ETW (Eldrick Tiger Woods), the new deal stated that ETW would be paid “the sum of $70m as a promotional fee”.

The document broke down the extra payments as:

*$29,166,667 would be paid to ETW within ten days of the agreement being signed

*$14,583,333 would be paid to ETW within ten days of Woods appearing at the official opening of Tiger Woods Dubai.

In addition, the new deal stated that Woods would no longer receive a villa on the resort, but “the Parties hereto agree to keep confidential the fact that ETW has agreed to waive its right to receive the Chosen Development Unit.”

The new deal also added that Woods' company would receive a “one-time fee of $28,800,000” if he agreed to develop a second golf resort with Tatweer.

In total, the potential value of the new deal was worth $98.8m to Woods – more than the $92.2m he had earned in prize money up to 2008.

The $1.1bn Tiger Woods Dubai project was first scheduled to open in September 2009. However, it was officially suspended last week by Dubai Properties Group (DPG), which Tatweer is now effectively a part of.

Original plans for the 55 million sq ft project  included 287 luxury villas and mansions, a boutique hotel and a clubhouse.

“This decision was based on current market conditions that do not support high-end luxury real estate. These conditions will continue to be monitored and a decision will be made in the future when to restart the project,” the company said last week.

Both DPG and Woods' agent declined to comment on the payments made to Woods.

When asked on Wednesday whether he had signed an amended contract, Tiger Woods told Arabian Business: “No, I’m not going to talk about that, sorry.”


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Former world No.1 golfer Tiger Woods was paid $55.4m for his part in the now-halted Dubai golf course bearing his name. Following the project’s suspension, should he:

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Xiaolong

Agree with Benoit.... Sort of in the timeline when DPG "TRIED" to take dh21.75/sqf service charge from jbr residents.

Posted by: Shoulabob

Many of us have been cheated by developers here and we have no legal recourse, so it is heartening to hear that someone has got one over on them!

Good luck to Tiger - keep the money, I have no sympathy for the developer.

I imagine that Tiger's lawyers were smart enough to manage the contractual terminology in the event the developer defaulted and failed to complete.

Posted by: J.Smith

I could not agree with you anymore. I'm glad Tiger pocketed the extra cash!!
I had recently leased a shop space in International city and unfortunately everything that is least expected from a retail space was missing.

All I have got from Nakheel is.."it is not our responsibility!!" I have to wonder if it isnt theirs, then whose it is!!!

Posted by: EXPAT in India

Why blame Tiger. He deserved the money. He and his golf design firm were contracted to design a superior Golf Course and Tatweer leveraged on the fact that he was World No.1 at the time and therefore paid him this vast amount of money which can only be deemed as advertising costs.

The homes that were to be built there were not going to be for the ordinary folks when the Advertising costs itself was so much! That the project got cancelled is no fault of Tiger; the design was completed and construction had started on the course although it is NOT finished.

Cheers to Tiger on a good business deal.

Posted by: Richard Blayton

The funds have been used up. So press for more.

Posted by: Andre

I voted that ETW should return all the money..., but re-thinking my vote, DPG deserve to lose the money - and ETW should keep it! Wasn't there a "no-show" clause or something similar?

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