ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Troon Abu Dhabi Team Prepares for Yas Links Showpiece

Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Yas Links Abu Dhabi, owned by Aldar and managed by Troon, will host some of the biggest names from the European Tour at the 17th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Hosted at a new venue for the first time in the tournament’s history, the European Tour has confirmed that the opening tournament of the 2022 Race to Dubai season will get underway with the Rolex Series event from January 20-23.

News of Yas Links Abu Dhabi’s addition to the European Tour schedule from 2022 onwards follows confirmation from the UAE authorities that people travelling to the Emirate no longer need to show a negative Covid-19 test result to cross the border into the capital from Dubai.

International travellers are also set to benefit following changes to the Abu Dhabi green list in October, with fully vaccinated individuals not required to quarantine on arrival, regardless of nationality or where they have come from.

Abu Dhabi has also added 27 countries to its green list of travel, meaning that a total of 82 destinations, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States and Israel, are exempt from quarantining regardless of their vaccination status.

“I am very proud of our team who have been hard at work over the past two years to successfully deliver a series of extensive on-course improvements at Yas Links Abu Dhabi,” said Mark Chapleski, President of Troon International, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“As the first true links-style course in the Middle East, its current playability is second to none and this is recognised globally thanks to its top 50 ranking on Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses in the world.

“The course’s signature finishing holes on 16, 17 and 18 are regarded as one of the toughest trios in the UAE with the mangroves looming down the left of all three. It will be fascinating to see how the pros approach them in January next year.”

With authorities confirming that the Covid-19 infection rate in the Emirate was just 0.2 per cent of all recorded tests in September, and with cases continuing to fall in October, Abu Dhabi is expecting visitor numbers to increase significantly.

Now entering ‘peak season’ with cooler weather, events such as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are set to entice a large number of international tourists and business travellers to the UAE’s capital city.

The championship’s move to Yas Island is particularly exciting for Aldar, the island’s leading real estate developer and manager. In recent years, Yas Island has become the premier destination for entertainment, leisure, retail and business in Abu Dhabi and is home to many of the capital’s main tourist attractions.

Jassem Busaibe, Chief Executive Officer at Aldar Investment, said: “Aldar is proud to continue its long association with the European Tour and welcome the HSBC Championship to its Yas Links Abu Dhabi course for the first time. Yas Island is a perfect home for the event, and we look forward to welcoming players, guests, and officials to the island, which is home to Aldar’s most iconic residential, retail, hospitality, entertainment, and leisure destinations.”   

Yas Links Abu Dhabi will offer a unique blend of first-class hospitality and entertainment activities for fans, with the team at Troon Abu Dhabi already hard at work to ensure that those visiting will enjoy the best possible experience.

These efforts also extend to the golf course itself, which was designed by Kyle Phillips and recently voted number one in the region. The man tasked with ensuring Yas Links Abu Dhabi is up to Tour standard by January 2022 is Yas Links Abu Dhabi Golf Course Manager Corey Finn.

He said: “The build up to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is always very exciting, but 2022 will be even more special with a brand-new venue for us to sink our teeth into. Many of the European and PGA Tour players will kick-start their competitive year in Abu Dhabi hoping to tame our notoriously tricky coastal course.

“Working closely with the European Tour creates a special environment and this will be no different in terms of working with a new team at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, as we are all working towards the same goal; making the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship even bigger and better than what’s come before.”

Tyrell Hatton will need to produce another dominant performance at Yas Links Abu Dhabi if he is to secure back-to-back titles. In January 2021, the Englishman went toe-to-toe with four-time Major winner and Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy, eventually finishing four shots clear of the stellar field.

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