Getting fancy: Jordan's impending 18-hole golf course to be one of three most eco-friendly in the world
Jordan’s first 18-hole golf course is one of the “top three most eco-friendly golf courses in the world”, the Aqaba course’s designer said last week. The 18-hole Ayla grass golf course project was designed by Greg Norman, one of the world’s “leading golf course designers”, according to a statement released by Ayla Oasis Development Company this week. “When I came to Aqaba two years ago I was pleased to say that the scale and quality of the Ayla project was phenomenal and that I believed that the entire setting and unique design puts it among the best in the world, from my 40 years experience in golf,” the statement quoted Norman as saying at a press conference held during a visit to the project, which is expected to be ready in seven months. “I regard myself as lucky to be given the opportunity of creating this outstanding golf course, in such a spectacular setting, with the majestic mountains looking down on the Bay of Aqaba,” he added. “It’s a great honour to design the first 18 holes grass golf course in Jordan which has the potential to put Jordan on the world golf map in the future in becoming a worldwide attraction, not only for the sport of golf but also for tourism and commerce,” Norman said. “By utilising 235 metres of the shoreline and creating a series of man-made lagoons open to the Gulf of Aqaba the Ayla development has added an impressive 17km to Jordan’s coastline,” he noted. Sahl Dudin, the managing director of Ayla Oasis Development Company, the master developer of Ayla said a dedicated 2.5 megawatt photovoltaic plant will power everything within the golf course. “All trees and shrubs have been carefully selected from local indigenous species to reduce the irrigation requirements, and a sub-surface irrigation system has been installed to reduce evaporation and water loss,” Dudin added at the press conference. Jordan Tourism Board CEO Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat said having “such a magnificent golf course designed by one of the finest ‘Green’ designers in the world as Greg Norman, means a lot to Jordan’s tourism sector.” “This world-class golf course will attract regional and international golfers of all standards and all nationalities, which will greatly enhance our position on the global golf tourism map,” the statement quoted him as saying.