Al Zorah Golf Club reports record start to 2024

Al Zorah Golf Club reports record start to 2024 to underline status as the Middle East’s hottest new venue

Al Zorah Golf Club
Al Zorah Golf Club

Al Zorah Golf Club has become one of the most talked-about developments over the past year, with the Ajman venue underlining its status as a rising star of Middle East golf following a record start to 2024.

Situated a 40-minute drive from Dubai, Al Zorah Golf Club is home to a stunning par-72 layout – which weaves its way through one million square metres of natural mangrove forest and provides a distinctive and most tranquil challenge for all golfers. The course, the first Nicklaus Design project in the United Arab Emirates, has been earning rave reviews and acclaim from visitors and members alike.

Having first opened for play in 2015, recent investments to make the venue one of the Middle East’s finest golf destinations has seen Al Zorah’s popularity soar in the first quarter of this year, with a 42 per cent increase in rounds played compared to the corresponding period in 2023, while green-fee revenue is up 30 per cent along with substantial growth in membership.

The positive spike in playing activity has no doubt been helped by a rapidly expanding homeowner programme at Al Zorah City in the popular emirate of Ajman. This stunning 5.4million square metre development offers everything you would want from a luxury lifestyle resort, where a number of exciting real-estate projects have been rolled out over the last two years to create a thriving community with the 18-hole championship golf course at its core.

Excitement continues to build as a state-of-the-art clubhouse nears completion. Offering panoramic views out and over the stunning layout, the clubhouse remains a unique-selling point in Al Zorah’s ongoing story. When fully complete, the golf and leisure amenities will include a purpose-built gymnasium, tennis courts, three restaurants and two outdoor swimming pools. A 350-metre-long driving range and extensive practice facilities all complement the luxury golfing experience, with a 10,000 square metre short-game area and new putting green having been completed last year.

Meanwhile, the course’s conditioning has been consistently lauded, playing a key part in visitor retention. Investment in people has been a driving factor in Al Zorah’s rise and growing reputation, with heavy recruitment in the maintenance team ensuring the layout remains in pristine condition despite the substantial increase in playing numbers.

Al Zorah Golf Club
Al Zorah Golf Club

As well as bolstering its maintenance team, significant recruitment in the golf operations department continues to outline the club’s vision. In September 2023, Stephen Payne was appointed golf operations manager, bringing ten years’ experience to Al Zorah having worked at some of the Middle East’s biggest and most thriving golf venues, such as Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai.

These internal staffing efforts were recognised at this year’s 59club Middle East & Africa Service Excellence Awards, which acknowledge outstanding teams and managers within the golf industry that consistently deliver the finest customer experiences for their members and guests, covering all aspects of golf and hospitality operations.

As well as being named as a Gold Flag Property for the first time in its history, Al Zorah also won the award for Golf Retail Team of the Year, led by Payne.

Externally, Al Zorah has continued to build its brand – and on a global level. Working closely with international management company, Troon, the club has forged a number of key partnerships with exclusive clubs across Asia and Europe, while engaging the services of leading UK PR specialists, Azalea, has built a further platform to reach new audiences in key markets.

Philip Henderson, general manager of Al Zorah Golf Club, said: “It has been a very positive start to the year for us and the success is testament to the hard work that everyone here has put in, but also the determination to take Al Zorah on the journey to being one of the finest golf destinations in the world.

“We took a conscious decision two years ago to make a number of changes to how we approached key elements of our business – for example, engaging marcomms specialists Azalea to increase our visibility in key and new markets – and it is fantastic to see the changes making such an immediate difference.

“The figures are very encouraging and give us a great platform to build for the rest of 2024 and beyond, but we know a lot of hard work lies ahead if we are to fulfil our vision and create a golfing legacy at Al Zorah.”

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