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Golf Business Forum highlights GCC region
April 28, 2011

The importance of golf in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region, and its influence in the development of the global game, was underlined to golf leaders, developers and decision makers, attending KPMG's eighth annual Golf Business Forum, at the Park Hyatt Dubai, April 17-19.

In a keynote opening address to 300 delegates, The European Tour's Chief Executive, George O'Grady, underlined the importance of the region in raising the profile of the game at both amateur and professional levels.

"Despite the challenges created by the recent fluctuation in the real estate market, the partnership between The European Tour and Dubai/Nakheel remains strong.

"The Dubai World Championship and The Race to Dubai, with the continued support of the government of Dubai and the private sector in Dubai, the UAE, the region and globally - will see, by the end of this year, delivery of the third Race to Dubai and the third Dubai World Championship with $45 million prize money distributed," said Mr O'Grady.

"The European Tour's presence in the region will continue as local players are developed and more people take up the game. Already there are several outstanding amateur players and the announcement of the Mena Tour, along with the Arab Golf Federation, will play a significant role in the development of the game for Arab Nationals as well as ex-pats," he added.

Whilst Mr O'Grady underlined The European Tour's continued commitment to the region, KPMG published a new report 'An Overview of Golf in the Golf Cooperation Council (GCC)' , the key findings of which are:

-GCC countries are still the highest performers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in terms of revenues achieved (over US$8.5million) with, on average, over 30,000 rounds played at 18-hole golf courses

-Prices in the region are among the highest in the world, with annual club memberships averaging US$6,400 and peak-season green fees averaging US$179

-Only half of the total revenues are made up of membership and green fees while food and beverage facilities contribute significantly to the total golf course income

-Staff costs account for more than 40% of the total operating costs, due to the high staffing levels of facilities with an average of 150-200 full-time employees

-With programs being introduced at several developments to encourage participation in the game, the future of golf in the GCC provides plenty of space for growth.

Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice in EMA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) added: "The European Tour has played a significant part in raising the awareness of golf in the region and KPMG's new report underlines how the GCC states have used such support to help developers create the highest performing golf businesses across the EMA region.

"The GCC golf industry has been affected by the economic downturn like everyone else. However, people are continuing to enjoy playing golf in the region and the clubs are still offering an unrivalled level of world-class service."

To download the full KPMG 'An Overview of Golf in the Golf Cooperation Council (GCC) report, visit:

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