Most of the world’s golfing greats have teed off on Dubai’s flawless fairways and the emirate is recognised as a major golf destination. The first all-grass championship golf course in the Middle East when it opened in 1988, Emirates Golf Club (+971 4 380 1234) remains a firm favourite among Dubai old timers and club-toting visitors. Annual host of the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, it has two 18-hole par 72 championship courses, a challenging Par 3 Academy Course, and an iconic clubhouse inspired by the shape of a traditional Bedouin tent. The Majlis course hosts the Desert Classic, while the Nick Faldo-designed The Faldo is also the only 18-hole course in the region to offer night golf. Green fees vary.
Swanky residential community and golf club Jumeirah Golf Estates (+971 4 818 2000) has a duo of Greg Norman-designed championship courses, Fire and Earth, inspired by the great parkland courses of Europe and North America. The Earth course is home to the annual DP World Tour Championship, the grand finale of the European Tour’s 47-tournament Race to Dubai. Tee times run from 7am-1.50pm (18-holes), while 9 holes is only available from 2pm onwards.
For an easier ride, the Peter Harradine-designed The Track, Meydan Golf (+971 4 381 3733) places a huge emphasis on fun and welcomes golfers of all ages and abilities. Different tee box options on each hole offer varying lengths and degrees of difficulty, and with day and night tee off times available, the added bonus of the Dubai skyline as a backdrop adds to the experience. Green fees vary.
Another Peter Harradine-designed 9-holer well worth a swing at is JA The Resort Golf Course in Jebel Ali (+971 4 814 5555), where the likes of Tiger Woods and Ernie Els have teed off previously.
Sweeping views of the city, with Burj Khalifa always in sight, also adds to the allure of a round at Dubai Hills Golf Club (+971 4 362 7555). The stunning championship course has wide fairways, but the bunkers and undulating greens are less forgiving. It's also home to par-3 course for those keen to sharpen their skills. Green fees vary.