Khalid Buhumaid, Vice President Corporate Relations & International Affairs, Dubal
For Dubai Aluminium (“DUBAL”) – the entirely state-owned enterprise that owns and operates the world’s largest single-site primary aluminium smelters that uses pre-baked anodes – the 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament (“the Omega DDC”) marks the 21st year that the company has been a major sponsor of the event. Since DUBAL’s inaugural sponsorship of the Omega DDC in 1992, the company’s financial and other support has enabled the tournament to evolve from a relatively unknown into a world-class event that attracts the top golfers from all corners of the globe.
“Thanks to DUBAL’s involvement, the Omega DDC is today one of the best-known golf tournaments in the world,” says Khalid Buhumaid (Vice President: Corporate Relations & International Affairs). “The high standards of the competition have drawn the likes of Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Lee Westwood – great sportsmen, who enjoyed visiting Dubai to play in the tournament. Their participation in the Omega DDC attracts the interest of the sporting community around the globe, thus focusing international attention on our city and the Emirates. Moreover, the Omega DDC also draws large volumes of sports tourism, 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.”
Acknowledged as the industrial flagship of the UAE, DUBAL was established in 1979. Today, the company’s Jebel Ali complex has the capacity to produce more than one million metric tonnes of molten metal per year. The company also owns 50 per cent of Emirates Aluminium Company Limited (“EMAL”) in Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, where EMAL Phase I (750,000 metric tonnes per year) has been fully operational since the beginning of 2011 and where construction of EMAL Phase II, which will increase EMAL’s total production capacity to 1.3 million tonnes per year, began mid-2011. In addition, DUBAL holds shares in several upstream development projects in Brazil, Republic of Guinea, Cameroon and India.
“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 21 years the created an enduring foundation upon which the Omega DDC can continue to build for many more years to come.”