We are heading for an exciting time ahead, says golf in DUBAi Leading Swiss watchmaker Omega will be the new title sponsor of the Dubai Ladies Masters and Dubai Desert Classic over the next five years, ‘golf in DUBAi,’ the promoters and organisers of the two premier golfing events, announced yesterday.
Involved in the world of sports since the beginning of the last century, Omega, a part of the Swatch Group, has contributed immensely to the development of top-level timing technology and its new agreement with ‘golf in DUBAi’ reinforces Omega’s commitment to the development of sports in the region and communicates an incredibly “positive signal’ at a time when global financial crisis is threatening to bite into sports.
"Golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the Middle East and Dubai, in particular, where the number of golfers is increasing rapidly. This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our brand to consumers. We are proud to be the title sponsors of the Dubai Desert Classic and Dubai Ladies Masters, the two well-established events in the Emirate, if not the Middle East,” said Nayla Hayek, a member of the Swatch Group Board of Directors.
"We want to project our image throughout the country and a good way of doing that is by sponsoring tournaments of the stature of the Dubai Ladies Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic. Golf in Dubai is going places and we want to be along for the ride,” she added.
With golfing superstars like Sergio Garcia and Michelle Wie as brand ambassadors, Omega's association with golf is not simply restricted to major tournaments, it goes well beyond the fairways and greens. The first company to be entrusted with the official timekeeping of all disciplines at the Los Angeles Games in 1932, Omega's name has become synonymous with the Olympic Games, and its association with golf is equally well acclaimed.
Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games until 2020, Omega is one of the few watch brands in the world with a history and tradition that can compete with that of golf. Founded in 1848, twelve years before the first-ever British Open took place at Prestwick golf course near Glasgow, Omega’s involvement in international golf today includes tour and tournament sponsorship as well as official timekeeping.
"The Dubai Desert Classic has already become a landmark event for the city of Dubai and the addition of the Dubai Ladies Masters three years back further cemented the city’s reputation as one of the most sought-after golfing destinations in the world," said Ms Hayek.
"With golf in DUBAi boasting two major world-class events, naturally we are delighted to be involved with them as the title sponsors. I think our common objective of promoting Dubai and our drive for perfection will lead to a perfect partnership," she added.
‘golf in DUBAi’ was equally upbeat about the new agreement with Omega. "Our association with Omega wasn’t born overnight – we have been involved with them over many years now, and the journey has been quite fruitful, to say the least. Omega first came on board as a partner and official timekeeper and now the partnership has grown to a different level,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, Vice-Chairman and CEO of ‘golf in DUBAi.’
“We feel privileged to have Omega as the title sponsors of our events. In these days, when everybody is uncertain about the future, Omega’s devotion to the development of sports is certainly a source of confidence for all the sports event organisers. And we value their gesture with a promise to deliver events befitting the global image of Dubai and the Omega brand,” he said.
“Sponsorship is the lifeline for the health of any sporting event and it’s really a matter of pride for all of us at golf in DUBAi to see Omega in the lead role. I am sure we are in for an exciting time ahead.”
The world’s leading golfers will descend on Dubai when they compete at the Emirates Golf Club, the home of both the Dubai Ladies Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic. The events take on special significance as the Dubai Ladies Masters, taking place from December 6 to 12, 2009, marks the end of the Ladies European Tour season while the Dubai Desert Classic (February 1 to 7, 2010) brings down the curtain on the European Tour ‘Desert Swing, which includes stops at Abu Dhabi and Doha.
The presence of world-class players like Annika Sorenstam, Laura Davies, Karrie Webb, Natalia Gulbis, Gwladys Nocera, Sophie Gustafson and Catriona Matthew over the last three years has firmly established the Dubai Ladies Masters a most sought-after event on the Ladies European Tour.
The Dubai Desert Classic, now the longest-running European Tour event in the region, has a unique aura about it. Since the day former Ryder Cup captain Mark James became the first winner in 1989, the Dubai Desert Classic has seen a litany of big names such as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazábal, Mark O’Meara, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Bjorn, Colin Montgomerie and Rory McIlroy holding the traditional Arabian coffee pot-shaped trophy against the backdrop of the huge lake guarding the 18th green.
With Omega keeping watch as the lead sponsor, the script can only get better with time.
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