Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship Tees up 10th Anniversary Event

Leading European Tour Event to Celebrate Milestone from January 15-18, 2015

New York, NY (June 18, 2014) – Organizers of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, have announced the award-winning event will run from January 15-18, 2015 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Championship title sponsor HSBC have confirmed preparations are in full swing ahead of the milestone, which will reflect the event’s remarkable growth over the past decade.

Teeing off in 2006 under the former Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (now TCA Abu Dhabi), the Championship is recognized as one of the leading events on the European Tour. It has welcomed some of golf’s biggest names over the years including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Phil Mickelson.

Last year the event attracted more than 63,000 fans and was broadcast to a global TV audience of more than 436 million people.

“The Championship has enjoyed rapid growth since launching and we are very much looking forward to celebrating its success over the past 10 years and recognizing what has now become one of the Gulf’s most-loved sporting events,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Director, Events Bureau, TCA Abu Dhabi. “We are deeply gratified by the reputation the Championship holds with the players who enjoy coming to Abu Dhabi and our valued sponsors and partners who have helped us to grow this event into what it is today. We have some exciting plans underway to recognize the 10-year milestone and look forward to welcoming everyone to help us celebrate this special occasion.”

Since its inception, the Championship has teed off every January at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, evolving to become the jewel in the desert that forms part of the Tour’s ‘Gulf Swing’. Each year, the event welcomes one of the European Tour’s leading player fields who vie for the iconic Falcon Trophy and a cut of the $2.7million prize purse – the richest in the region.

Global bank HSBC joined as title sponsor of the Championship in 2010 and has played a key role in driving the event forward. Working in partnership with TCA Abu Dhabi to attract the game’s greatest players to the emirate, the bank has also helped to further enhance the Championship Village into one of the best off-course entertainment venues of any regional sporting event.

HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said: “HSBC’s ambition is to open up the world of golf. That is exactly why we are involved in golf and in this tournament. I believe we are fulfilling our ambition in Abu Dhabi and by working closely with our partners this Championship has evolved into an unmissable event which appeals to absolutely everyone. The Championship brings together all the ingredients’ required to excite and attract families, avid golfers and those completely new to the game. The result is the perfect mix of the world’s best players competing in a great tournament on a stunning course alongside a host of family-friendly activities and entertainment. It’s a winning formula and one we are continuing to build upon as we look to celebrate the landmark achievement of the 10th anniversary tournament and five years of HSBC sponsorship.”

The Championship was initially created to further enhance Abu Dhabi’s profile as an international golf tourism destination, and showcase the world-class offering of the one-stop Golf in Abu Dhabi booking and packaging initiative. With three championship-standard courses within a 20-minute drive of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi’s golf tourism offering has seen growth year-on-year.

Overseas rounds increased by a massive 50 percent in 2012-2013, with total rounds also increasing by 15 percent during the same time. The first quarter of this year has continued the trend, with overseas rounds up by a further 19 percent.

Golf in Abu Dhabi has created tailored packages to suit all types of players and itineraries, including packages for the 2015 Championship. Championship packages include five nights’ accommodation in one of Abu Dhabi’s leading hotels, two rounds of golf on Abu Dhabi’s Championship courses, season passes to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, as well as an array of stunning tourism attractions. To top this off, all visitors who book packages will enjoy a complimentary clinic with a world top 30 player. Visit www.golfinabudhabi.com for additional details concerning Championship package.

Earlier this year, the Championship was also billed, for the second year running, as the region’s best professional sporting event at the Middle East Sports Industry Awards (SPIA).

For more information about the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, visit www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com. For more information about the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, visit http://tcaabudhabi.ae/en or http://visitabudhabi.ae.

· Photo caption: The 10th annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship will take place in Abu Dhabi – the vibrant capital of the United Arab Emirates – on January 15-18, 2014.
· Please credit all images to “Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority”
· Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority gives media receiving this email permission to use above photo

· The Championship is renowned for throwing up tough and exciting challenges for the world’s best – from Henrik Stenson setting a new Asian long drive record from the wing of an Etihad Airways A330; to Luke Donald taking on the ‘world’s biggest bunker’ in the Liwa Desert.

· In 10 years, the Championship has grown exponentially, from welcoming 22,000 visitors in 2006, to over 63,000 visitors in 2014.

· Across 10 years of the Championship, there have been nine holes-in-one – more than half of which occurred on the National Course’s par 3 Hole 12.

· Martin Kaymer made himself a firm fixture in the Championship’s history books, becoming the youngest, and only wire-to-wire winner at 23 years and 24 days in 2008, and scoring the largest winning margin (eight shots) and lowest 72 hole score (-24) in 2011.

· In its 10 year history, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship has welcomed six current and former number ones including Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

· Since HSBC came on board as the Championship’s title sponsor, the Championship Village has become the centerpiece of the action, proven in 2013, when fans watched Rory McIlroy unexpectedly take on former British number one tennis star Tim Henman on the mini court.

· The highest ranked player to win the Championship was Martin Kaymer in 2011, who consequentially displaced Tiger Woods as number two in the world rankings, shortly before going on to become world number one.

· Numerous changes have been made to the National Course over the past 10 years to increase the degree of difficulty and provide a searching but fair test for the world’s leading players, including 12 new tees and 23 new bunkers.

· The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship has won the accolade of Best Professional Sporting Event at the Middle East Sports Industry Awards every year since they were established.

· Over the past 10 years, 14 Major winners have descended on Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course with hopes of Championship glory, however only the newly crowned US Open Champion, Martin Kaymer, has achieved it.

About Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority:
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programs relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honor the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base. For more information, visit http://visitabudhabi.ae.


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