Traditional definitions of the Middle East include the nations of Egypt and Turkey but we incorporate the former in our Africa listings and the latter in our Continental Europe rankings. In a region where the ancient religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam originated (and proponents of each have battled for supremacy down the centuries), oil now dominates the economies of each and every one of the mainly-Arab nations that occupy this extremely hot and arid landscape. Sadly, with military conflict continuing to blight the lives of millions of people who live in the region, golf could hardly be further from the minds of many who live here.
The United Arab Emirates operates more than twenty golf courses and we feature fifteen of the very best. At the top of our chart, Yas Links is a wonderful Kyle Philips layout which has attracted very favourable reviews since it opened its doors in 2010 and it’s one of three excellent 18-hole layouts that you’ll find close to the capital city of Abu Dhabi (the other two courses being the Karl Litten-designed Abu Dhabi (National) course and Saadiyat Beach, a Gary Player design that also opened to great acclaim in 2010).Elsewhere in the Middle East, we shine the spotlight on solitary tracks in Bahrain, Israel and Lebanon whilst a couple of courses also come under scrutiny in Oman. Finally, we focus on a pair of Peter Harradine designs: Sahara in Kuwait and the more celebrated Championship course at Doha Golf Club, which has hosted the Qatar masters since 1998, shortly after it first opened for play.