Golf in Dubai: Jebel Ali Golf Club
While just a few miles away from the city via Sheikh Zayed Road, this club feels like it is further away from the Dubai rat race than that. The scenic nine-hole Resort Course was designed by Peter Harradine, a name well-known in the Middle East, and opened in 1998. It has a different feel than its neighbours; quaint and charming, with small neatly kept shrubbery on each distinctive hole, and white rocks surrounding water hazards. Wooden gazebos look out over the lapping waters of the Gulf. Game birds including peacocks and partridges wander proudly between holes, blissfully oblivious to the joy and frustration felt by the humans walking among them.
Harradine confessed that the site was not a good one to work on, but, as a believer in the need for more nine-hole courses, pitch-and-putts and driving ranges in the country, he is surely happy he took on the challenge of creating a course which was both “easy to play but also quite challenging”, such was his mandate. And he did just that with the Resort Course, which is both tough and thrilling to players of all standards, whether they choose to take on the course twice over 18 holes or just once over nine.
Facilities and activities
One of the most popular resorts in the city — and also one of the first — The JA The Resort recently announced plans for a major refurbishment project in the summer of 2019. It will see a third hotel added to the area as the original JA Beach Hotel undergoes the makeover. The JA Beach Hotel, once known as the Jebel Ali Beach Hotel, opened in 1981. The plans include new frontage, all-glass balconies for rooms, suites and bedrooms with a new colour scheme, modern wood tile flooring, new beds and furniture. The resort already features 800 metres of golden sand, four tennis courts and watersports including jet skiing, windsurfing and banana boating, as well as seaplane tours from the private marina and romantic ocean horseback riding.
The 19th and beyond
A range of award-winning restaurants including White Orchid, a mix of Chinese, Japanese and Thai specialties plus Teppanyaki table, a traditional sports bar with marina views, the panoramic Mushref venue overlooking the hotel gardens and beach, and La Traviata, which serves classic Italian cuisine.
Rack rates: Summer, AED205 9 holes, AED280 18 holes (Sun-Thu), AED210 9 holes, AED310 18 holes (Sun-Thu). Winter, AED255 nine holes, AED365 18 holes (Sun-Thu), AED285 9 holes, AED440 18 holes (Sun-Thu). Including buggy and bucket of sharing balls for practise, club hire AED140 18 holes, AED75 9 holes, per player.
Where: Jebel Ali
Contact: +971 4 814 5555, www.jaresortshotels.com