The work, which was required due to the construction of a new hotel at the northeast corner of the resort’s grounds, sees the opening holes start with a par four-four-three configuration in place of the original five-three-four.
“The redesign includes new tees and the lengthening of the driving range to a total of 388 yards, thus making it possible to be played from both ends,” said Peter Harradine. “The second hole is a 331-yard slight dogleg to the right over some trees and is a theoretical driveable par four. However, landing on the green with the drive is not for the faint-hearted as it is defended by a bunker on the front right corner and a new lake on the left-hand side.”
The course close for construction on 20 May and reopened on 23 September, leaving just two-and-a-half months for grow-in. “Quite an achievement!” said Harradine.
Jebel Ali was originally designed by Harradine and opened in 1995. Deer and peacocks roam the nine-hole course, which has hosted the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Challenge Match, a one-day charity contest before the European Tour event.
“The new holes were designed to provide an attractive view from the new hotel and we are sure that many guests will either want to play or try the game as they observe the course and players from their vantage point,” said Harradine. “We also provided tees on the hotel side of the driving range in order to further entice guests to this great game!
“740 new trees and shrubs and 1,600 tall grasses were planted to ensure that the new holes retain the original character of the course, which already featured many mature trees. The maintenance team took the opportunity of the closure to drastically renovate holes four to nine and we hope that the new holes will not disappoint the regulars.”