The UAE’s golf scene received another huge boost today with the announcement that Ras al-Khaimah is to become the destination for the pivotal event of the European Challenge Tour season.
The Ras al-Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final will mark the climax of the European Challenge Tour season at the stunning Troon Golf-managed Al Hamra Golf Club from 31st October to 3rd November which will offer competitors the chance to graduate to the European Tour – as well as a prize fund of US$515,000.
As part of a three-year agreement, the Challenge Tour’s season-long Rankings will now be known as the 'Road to Ras al-Khaimah' with players competing throughout the 29-event season to try to win a spot in the elite field at Al Hamra Golf Club.
Only the top 45 ranked players will be eligible for the season finale which will offer a truly life-changing reward for those finishing inside the top 15 in the Road to Ras al-Khaimah Rankings at the conclusion of the tournament.
Those players will be promoted to play on the European Tour alongside the likes of Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter the following season while an additional ‘Road to Ras al-Khaimah Bonus Pool’ of $100,000 will be divided between the top three in the Rankings.
It is a worthy ‘upgrade’ for the tournament after the hugely successful running of the Ras al-Khaimah Golf Challenge, which was the penultimate event on the schedule, for the past two years.
"After hosting the penultimate Challenge Tour events in Ras al-Khaimah for the last two years, we are delighted to now host the Grand Final of the Challenge Tour Road to Ras al-Khaimah in October," said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority." "Sports and adventure tourism is key to Ras al Khaimah’s tourism development strategy and this prestigious golf event is an important addition to our events calendar that will inspire more golf enthusiasts to play where the pros play," he added.
"High profile events of this nature also help us attract an increasing number of international visitors and UAE residents who also want to experience everything Ras al-Khaimah has to offer. With our unique natural landscape of pristine beaches, terracotta desert and the UAE’s highest mountain range we cater to those looking for luxurious relaxation, culture or adventure. With the recent opening of Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline in the stunning Hajar Mountains visitors will also have the opportunity to tick off a truly bucket list experience.
"Our hotel portfolio which includes high-end, luxury properties as well as family focused resorts is well placed to accommodate the visitors coming in for the Golf and with plans to significantly grow our choice of accommodation over the next five years, Ras al-Khaimah is truly a great place to combine watching sport with an exciting stay." Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International Dubai Office, said, "After two years of the Challenge Tour’s Ras al-Khaimah Golf Challenge it is tremendous news for us all that Ras al-Khaimah and Al Hamra Golf Club will host the 2018 Ras al-Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final on the season long Road to Ras al-Khaimah."
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