With each course offering something different, it is easy to understand why the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is becoming a premier golfing destination in Asia. Some golfers even consider it a dream destination where they can golf with lush green grass under their feet and views of thrilling skyscrapers. Moreover, planning a golf holiday in UAE is not so difficult thanks to the convenient transportation and an abundance of golf courses. The only problem is to choose the most suitable time to avoid the scorching summer heat of this nation.
Tips to Plan a Perfect Golf Holiday in UAE
How to Get To & Around UAE
There are several ways to get to the United Arab Emirates, by road, sea, or air.
You can enter the UAE by road from neighboring countries like Oman and Saudi Arabia. Travelers driving into the UAE must possess both an international driving permit and valid vehicle insurance. There are multiple entry points at the borders, with some exclusively designated for GCC citizens.
Residents of GCC countries can use their respective GCC country driving licenses in the UAE. Citizens from specific countries, including Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, can also drive in the UAE using their home country’s driving licenses.
The UAE has several ports and harbors that accommodate various types of sea vessels, including cruise ships, cargo ships, and private boats. Some of the major ports in the UAE include Dubai Port, Jebel Ali Port, Abu Dhabi Port, and Fujairah Port.
If you are arriving in the UAE by cruise ship, you will typically disembark at one of the country’s cruise terminals, such as the Dubai Cruise Terminal in Dubai or the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Abu Dhabi. These terminals are equipped to handle the arrival and departure of cruise passengers, providing customs and immigration facilities.
If you arrive on private boats or yachts, there are marinas and harbors across the UAE where you can dock and clear customs and immigration. It’s essential to check the specific entry requirements and procedures for arriving by sea, including visa requirements, in advance to ensure a smooth arrival process.
Etihad Airways is the UAE’s flagship carrier, serving routes to and from Abu Dhabi. Other notable airlines in the UAE include:
- Emirates, along with its low-cost partner FlyDubai. Emirates operates flights to and from Dubai International Airport, while FlyDubai offers departures and arrivals at both Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.
- Air Arabia is a leading Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, flying to and from Sharjah International Airport.
- Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, is the UAE’s sixth national airline, specializing in affordable travel to various destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
- Rotana Jet provides both executive charter and scheduled airline services, serving domestic and international routes with flights to and from Abu Dhabi.
- Royal Jet, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Aviation and Presidential Flight. It offers chartered flights to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Getting around the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is not a walkable country. So, the most convenient way of transportation is to hire a private car. The public transportation system is highly developed here, but not so suitable for your heavy clubs. To transfer from one city to another, consider taking a domestic flight. It is cheap and will help to save a lot of time.
Best Time for A Golf Holiday in the United Arab Emirates
The best time for a golf holiday in the UAE depends on your preferences and tolerance for heat.
- Winter Months (November to February): This is generally considered the prime golf season in the UAE. The weather during these months is pleasantly cool and comfortable, with daytime temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). It’s an ideal time for golfers who prefer mild weather. Be aware that this is also the busiest tourist season, so golf courses and accommodations may be in high demand.
- Spring (March to April): Spring is another excellent time for a golf holiday in the United Arab Emirates. Temperatures begin to rise, but they are still pleasant, ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). The courses are less crowded than in the winter months, and you can enjoy comfortable rounds of golf.
- Fall (September to October): Fall is a shoulder season in the UAE. The weather starts to cool down from the scorching summer months, making it a decent time for golf. However, be prepared for higher humidity levels in September, and October can still be quite warm. Golf courses may offer discounts during this period.
- Summer (May to August): Summer is the least favorable time for a golf holiday in UAE due to the scorching heat. Daytime temperatures often exceed 40°C (104°F), and the weather can be quite uncomfortable for outdoor activities. Many golf courses offer reduced rates during the summer to attract visitors, but playing in such extreme heat can be challenging.
In summary, the best time to golf in UAE is during the winter months (November to February) and spring (March to April) when the weather is pleasant and the courses are in great condition. If you want to avoid crowds and can tolerate the heat, you might consider the shoulder seasons or summer when you can find more affordable golf packages.
>>> Read our article on The Best Time to Golf in UAE for the detailed weather conditions of each region in this country.
Where to Golf in the United Arab Emirates?
In Abu Dhabi, golf is still relatively nascent, featuring only a select trio of championship-standard golf courses: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Yas Links, and Saadiyat Beach Golf Course. Among them, the standout and most favorite is the venerable Abu Dhabi Golf Club, located a short distance from the city center. This 18-hole championship course currently hosts the prestigious Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, held annually from January 15 to 19, 2020.
Dubai also boasts some of the world’s finest golfing experiences, with a diverse range of breathtaking golf courses. Currently, these include Dubai Creek, Arabian Ranches, and Jumeirah Golf Estates, featuring both the Fire Golf Club and the Earth Golf Course, which hosted the DP World Golf Championships from November 21st to 24th, 2019, serving as the grand finale to the Race To Dubai.
Montgomerie Dubai, The Els Club, and Trump International should also be taken into consideration. Another notable course is the Emirates Golf Club, which harmoniously blends quality with echoes of its rich cultural heritage and the breathtaking views of the course against the city’s signature skyline are genuinely awe-inspiring.
Dubai Hills Golf Course, the newest addition, opened its doors in 2018 and was voted the Best New Golf Course in the World for 2019. Last but not least is the Meydan Golf, adjacent to the Meydan Racing track, home to the world’s richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup, with a staggering purse of $12 million. This course features floodlights, allowing for evening play with options for 9 or 18 holes as the sun sets, making golfing in Dubai an unparalleled experience.
Don’t just take our word for it; come and experience it for yourself.
Where to Stay in UAE?
The UAE is renowned for its luxurious high-end hotels that offer unparalleled opulence. If you seek to indulge in extravagance, you can choose to stay at exquisite establishments like Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi or Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
For budget-conscious golfers, there are affordable options like guesthouses and youth hostels. Hotels situated in the heart of the cities provide convenient access to public transportation, exhibition and convention centers, shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife venues, making them ideal for visitors with specific agendas.
For those in search of tranquility and breathtaking views, there are seaside hotels and resorts that offer a serene atmosphere. For a unique experience, consider desert resorts such as Bab Al Shams in Dubai, Qasr Al Sarab in Abu Dhabi, spa resorts, or themed properties like Atlantis, The Palm, and Lapita in Dubai.
Hotels in the UAE offer a wide range of amenities, including concierge services, fully-equipped business centers, fitness and recreational facilities, luxurious spas, salons, shopping boutiques, diverse dining options, airport transfers, and Wi-Fi connectivity, ensuring that your stay is both comfortable and enjoyable.
Is it Expensive to Golf in UAE?
The United Arab Emirates is quite expensive country. A 6-day golf package in Abu Dhabi may cost US$1,000, while the same duration of golf in Dubai costs around US$855, including green fees, accommodation, and transportation. This price varies depending on the course you play and the visiting time of the year.
A round of golf in the United Arab Emirates may cost from US$100 to nearly US$300, based on the playing time. Green fees in UAE may reduce a little bit in the summer but increase significantly in the winter and spring, at the peak tourist season.
Hotels in Dubai are also the most expensive in the world. They are similar to those in New York, Paris, or London. While you can walk in these three cities, it seems to be impossible in Dubai. As a result, you will have to pay more for transportation.
Almost all tourist attractions in Dubai require entrance fees, so consider the amount of money for your time out of course. The cheapest way is to return to your hotel after the golf game to relax and rejuvenate your body and mind.
Here, you know all the essential information for a perfect golf holiday in the United Arab Emirates. Just pack your luggage and get ready for a memorable golf trip. Still don’t know how to plan your itinerary, you can check our list of UAE golf tours for reference. Or, contact us right now for immediate support and a tailor-made program.