Dubai hires former St Andrews chief to drive golfing ambition

Peter Dawson, former CEO of The R&A and former secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Dubai has announced the establishment of a new entity, Falcon Golf, which will serve to optimise the benefits the sport brings to the emirate.

Falcon Golf will convene all relevant parties in the industry to enhance Dubai’s golf efforts – including driving greater golf tourism, promoting grass roots participation and managing the successful hosting of tournaments.

The organisation will be chaired by Peter Dawson, former CEO of The R&A and former secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, a statement said.

Falcon Golf will work to increase knowledge about Dubai through the lens of golf, as well as boost Dubai’s reputation as one of the world’s leading golf destinations, the statement added.

Dawson said: “Dubai has a fantastic golf offering and, combined with the emirate’s forward-thinking approach, I believe there is a real opportunity to develop it further. It is a sporting partnership that, over the years, has not only contributed to the growth of Dubai, but also to the global growth and popularity of the game.

"I am delighted to have been chosen for this special role and motivated by the exciting challenge ahead. Dubai’s investment in its golfing credentials, including its relationship with the European Tour, has proved to be very successful and I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders as we look to the future.”

Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, added: “Dubai has long recognised the potential of both golf’s contribution to the sport economy and the platform it provides to tell our story to the world. The entity will bring together the emirate’s fantastic golf assets and ensure that these continue to deliver for Dubai.

"This is great news for the continued development of the game in this part of the world. With world-class facilities and courses, a number of professional golfers calling Dubai home, including Rory McIlroy and Rafael Cabrera Bello, as well as new courses coming to the market, we see a clear opportunity for future growth.”

Falcon Golf will manage Dubai's involvement with the Race to Dubai, a season-long competition on the European Tour which celebrates both the diversity and shared passion for golf in 26 countries across the globe.

Management of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic will also transfer to Falcon Golf from April 1.

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