Former St Andrews chief hired to boost Dubai's golf ambitions

Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation, has been appointed as a consultant to help build on Dubai's reputation as one of the world's top golf destinations.

Dawson, the former chief executive of The R&A and secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, is currently heading up the organisation in charge of golf's reintroduction to the Olympic Games at Rio 2016.

The appointment follows the recent publication of a Deloitte report which highlighted golf as a key contributor to Dubai's sports economy.

It said golfing in Dubai is worth $131 million to the emirate per year, with the total gross expenditure reaching $270 million, a quarter of total sports expenditure.

Over the coming months, Dawson will work across the industry alongside all associated stakeholders in Dubai with a view to making a series of recommendations to the Dubai Government, a statement said.

Mohammed Al Shaibani, CEO and executive director of Investment Corporation Dubai, the investment arm of the Government of Dubai, said: "Building on golf's strong domestic growth in the real estate and leisure sector, this strategic appointment marks another step forward for the continued development of the game and the long-term benefit of Dubai.

"With a view to expanding the reach and expertise of Dubai in a sector that has already shown its potential to contribute significantly to the growth of the emirate and its economy, we will also reinforce Dubai's position as a world leading golf destination."

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Dawson added: "In my roles at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the International Golf Federation I have been committed to growing golf around the world and I welcome the opportunity to assist the expansion of the game in Dubai.

"Dubai has a strong pedigree in golf and I believe there is a real opportunity for Dubai to develop its fantastic golf offering even further. This is a truly exciting project and I much look forward to getting started."

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