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Dubai promotes itself as the sports capital of the Middle East

Dubai Tourism and Conference Marketing is promoting the diverse range of sports available to visitors during…

Dubai Tourism and Conference Marketing is promoting the diverse range of sports available to visitors during their stay in Dubai, the sports capital of the Middle East. Visitors can try anything from archery and clay pigeon shooting to horse riding, ice hockey, badminton and tennis, tenpin bowling, cricket at the Darjeeling Cricket Club, dune driving, cycling and sand skiing.



Flying is also a possibility – after specific training and a minimum of 40 hours flying hours, visitors can gain an internationally recognised UAE private pilot licence. Among spectator sports, polo at the Dubai Polo Club is recommended, as well as horse racing (which starts in November and ends in March with the Dubai World Cup) or camel racing.



There are many opportunities for golfers, both serious and for those playing for fun. Seven courses – all designed and opened since 1990 and many of them floodlit – are open to golfers with a handicap of 28 or less (men) and 45 or less (women) on a pay-as-you play basis. The newest courses to come on stream are part of an EUR232 million residential project, Emirates Hills. One course, already open, is the Montgomerie, created by mastercourse architect Desmond Muirhead in association with Scotland`s Colin Montgomerie. The par-three thirteenth hole is particularly spectacular, and has the largest single green in the world. A second course at the site is being designed by Australian golf legend Greg Norman. An integral part of the design of the golf community are some 400 exclusive villas bordering the various fairways and the lakes of the 350-hectare site.



Tourist arrivals rose by a spectacular 30 per cent in 2002 from 3.6 million in 2001. The exceptional hotel stock in Dubai continues to improve, with the number of rooms increasing from 31,267 to 35,483 and the number of hotels up from 254 to 265. Among the properties are the 300-room Jumeirah and the Grand Hyatt. Another crucial development for Dubai`s tourism will be the Convention Centre, ready in September this year, which will be able to accommodate over 6,000 delegates.

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