Khalid Buhumaid, Dubal Vice President: Corporate Relations & International Affairs
The 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, the Omega DDC, coincides with the 25th anniversary of the inaugural event. Reaching this milestone is attributable to a large extent to the long-standing support of Dubai Aluminium, DUBAL, which has been a major sponsor since 1992 – making this the 23rd consecutive year of DUBAL’s involvement. Indeed, DUBAL’s financial and other support has enabled the Omega DDC’s evolution from a relatively unknown into a world-class event that attracts the top golfers from across the globe.
“Thanks to DUBAL’s involvement, the Omega DDC today ranks among the best-known golf tournaments in the world,” says Khalid Buhumaid, Vice President: Corporate Relations & International Affairs. “Ever-higher standards of competition have drawn the likes of the world’s leading golfers in their time such as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy – great sportsmen, who enjoyed visiting Dubai to play in the tournament. Their participation in the Omega DDC attracts the interest of the global sporting community, thus focusing international attention on our city and the Emirates. Moreover, the Omega DDC draws sports tourists in large numbers, which has measurable spin-off benefits for our national economy both during the event and through longer-term business relationships.”
The allied social and economic development of Dubai is the primary objective behind DUBAL’s involvement in the event. “DUBAL has, since its inception, been committed to investing in the growth of Dubai into a global player,” continues Buhumaid. “Over the years, our company has not only contributed substantially to the economy both directly and indirectly, but we have also actively supported community-based initiatives that fulfil the broader goals of the Dubai government – especially in the education and career growth of UAE Nationals; and high-profile sporting events that position Dubai firmly on the world stage.”
Importantly, DUBAL leverages its sponsorship of the Omega DDC to build excellence-based partnership-type relationships with its key stakeholders. “Every year, we invite our customers from across the world to Dubai, to attend the Omega DDC. We then make the most of the opportunity by holding meetings with our customers and representatives, using these forums to share our forward strategies and seek valuable input so as to continually improve our product and service quality standards,” adds Buhumaid. “We also invite our local suppliers, bankers and other local business associates to the event, as a gesture of our appreciation for these business partnerships. In addition to the Omega DDC, a comprehensive social programme is offered to our guests, providing ample opportunity to experience our traditional Arabian hospitality.”
Commissioned in 1979, DUBAL celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The company’s Jebel Ali smelter complex has the capacity to produce more than one million tonnes of molten metal per year. Its entire annual production is pre-sold every year, with at least 88 per cent being exported. More than 300 customers are supplied in about 57 countries, predominantly in Asia, Europe, the MENA region and the Americas.
“The world-class stature of the Omega DDC is a natural fit with the world-class standing of DUBAL,” concludes Buhumaid. “More importantly, the effective co-promotion of both our company and our country is a lasting legacy: DUBAL’s investment in the tournament for the past 23 years the created an enduring foundation upon which the Omega DDC can continue to build for many more years to come. As announced in 2013, DUBAL has already confirmed its continued sponsorship of the Omega DDC for the next three years, i.e. to 2017. This reflects both DUBAL’s belief in nurturing long-term partnership-type relationships with all our stakeholders and our whole-hearted commitment to investing in Dubai’s future.”