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
Revealed: Tiger Woods paid $55.4m for failed Dubai golf resort
In total, the potential value of the new Tatweer deal was worth $98.8m to Tiger Woods (ITP Images)
By Shane McGinley
Thu 10 Feb 2011 07:15 AM

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.”


Did you invest in Tiger Woods Dubai on the assumption Woods would own a villa on the resort? Email us in confidence at

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.