By Shane McGinley
European Tour could announce new deal shortly before beginning of the tournament in December
The finale of the Race to Dubai PGA golf tour will continue to be staged at Jumeirah Golf Estates until at least 2013, according to a report.
The club’s management is currently negotiating to host the tournament until 2016, Arabian Business’ sister publication Middle East Golfer said.
The European Tour is expected to announce a new deal shortly before the beginning of the tournament in December.
Dubai World Championship and lead sponsor DP World have the right to extend their contract with the European Tour by a further two years, and it is thought all parties have now reached a mutual agreement to do so.
“This is the last year of the current arrangement and we would very much like the Race to Dubai to stay exactly where it is,” Colin Smith, European Tour Director, International Business Development Middle East and Asia, told Middle East Golfer.
“Our primary objective is to keep the Race to Dubai in Dubai, wherever that may be. Jumeirah Golf Estates is a good host, so there is no reason right now to look beyond it as a venue,” he added.
At the 2010 Dubai World Championship, European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said the tournament could move to The Els Club, or could even move to neighbouring Abu Dhabi, but these have now been dismissed.
“At the moment, all our deliberations are positive and there is no reason why the Race should move,” O’Grady said in April at the KPMG Golf Business Forum in Dubai. “We are talking to everybody concerned at the moment. Our hope would be that our partners here in Dubai are very happy with the way those discussions have gone.
two-year extension to stage the finale of the Race to Dubai is likely to be
followed by a further three-year contract, keeping the event in the region
until 2016, the report said.
While talks are at an initial stage, the report added that organisers are also considering increasing the prize pool from $7.5m to $10m by 2014.
The Race to Dubai has been a great marketing tool for Dubai since it was launched in 2009 and it has also made its mark on the international golf stage and helped to improve the game as a whole.
“I don’t think it is a coincidence that European golf has flourished since the Race to Dubai started,” said Nick Tarratt, director of the European Tour’s International Office in Dubai. “You have to give the concept some credit for the recent success behind European golf.”
Why use a picture of the Emirates?
Is 2013 or 2016 when the clubhouse is due for completion?
Seriously though, great course and great event.
Would love the event to stay here but would like to see the venue changed - Jumeirah Golf Estates is still a building site
GREAT news - The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates is my favorite course in the UAE.
Fantastic Result - Both Earth & Fire are brilliant golf courses.
Finish the clubhouse.
Great course and venue but please finish the clubhouse! It feels like a construction site driving to the course, what a pity.