Arabian Ranches - United Arab Emirates

Arabian Ranches Golf Club,
Emirates Road (311),
PO Box 367,
Dubai,
United Arab Emirates


  • +971 4 366 3000

  • Golf Club Website

  • Well signposted within the Arabian Ranches development

  • Welcome, contact in advance

  • Elliott Grey

  • Ian Baker-Finch, Nicklaus Design

  • Malcolm Young, Colin Cunningham, Scott Clelland


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Arabian Ranches

Arabian Ranches Golf Club opened in February 2004 and this was Ian Baker-Finch's first collaboration with Nicklaus Design. Previously the area was grazing land for camels and gazelle, and Baker-Finch – who knows a bit about links courses having won at Royal Birkdale in the 1991 Open – has turned Arabian Ranches into a reasonable facsimile of a links course… or as near as one could get in the deserts of the Gulf.

The topography was not ideal for a golf course, but the architect resisted the temptation to move huge volumes of soil (only 80,000 cubic metres was moved). The result is a nicely crafted course that flows well through the 247 acres of desert; 66 acres of which are grassed and 55 acres of which are planted with desert vegetation. Shots that miss the immaculate grass of the fairways and greens often enter the ‘sandy wasteland’ with its indigenous shrubs and bushes.

The course has five sets of tees – Championship, Tournament, Medal, Society & Ladies/Juniors – so it’s suitable for all levels of golfer. There's a floodlit driving range, Par 3 academy course and three onsite professionals.

The club and the huge Arabian Ranches community development of thousands of homes is owned by The Emaar Group who also have the renowned nearby Montgomerie on their portfolio. The Arabian Ranches Golf Club has become the focal point of the community and as such is as near to a traditional members club as you're likely to find in Dubai.

A little known fact is that within the Spanish Colonial-style clubhouse, there are 11 en-suite guest rooms for stay and play visitors who don't want to stay at the big tourist hotels on the beach.

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Reviews for Arabian Ranches

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Description: Arabian Ranches Golf Club opened in February 2004 and this was Ian Baker-Finch's first collaboration with Nicklaus Design. Rating: 4.3 out of 6 Reviews: 4

I played the course in December 2012 after some unusually heavy rain. Let me start by saying that I really like playing this course. The layout is very interesting and tests a variety of shots, particularly on a windy day like the one we experienced. The scrub areas are much more punishing than at some of the other more manicured courses in the area and the overall feel is of a natural course - as far as that is possible in the middle of a sand desert!Clearly the condition of the course leaves a bit to be desired when you have just come off playing at somewhere like Jumeirah Golf Estates. There were areas of fairway that were under-water, pointing at drainage problems, and several areas of bare earth, or ground under repair where new turf had been laid. The greens also had a multi-coloured look to them that suggests some problems with the grasses.None of the above seriously impacted the playability of the course, however, and the greens, for all the slightly strange look, ran true and fast.We started at 10th, and the back 9 is outstanding - out in the dunes and scrub and using the natural ruggedness of the land to great advantage. Driving needs to be precise and the putting surfaces feel smaller than at other courses and well protected.The start of the front 9 is less promising playing around the practise ground and much flatter. However it picks up the further away from the clubhouse you get.Practice facilities and clubhouse were excellent, and the staff were friendly. The course was also not very full, which meant that we got a pretty clear run and were able to play some extra holes - which was allowed under the green fee.Because of the relatively poor condition, and a couple of forgettable holes at the start, this is not a standout course in this region. However for the price (which is one of the lowest around, with lots of discounts available if you check with locals who have vouchers) this was a really good day's golf, with a lot less pretension than some of the other courses, and I will be keeping it on my itinerary for future trips.
4 / 6
Arabian Ranches
March 24, 2013


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One of my primary expectations of the courses in Dubai is that the manicuring and overall conditioning of the courses throughout the year is of an exceptional standard. With Arabian Ranches something is not quite right at the moment, yes the style of the course is more linksy and the course is designed to sit within its environment rather than impose upon it but the fairways and greens are not up to local standards. The fairways are showing signs of significant wear and tear and require a fair amount of additional maintenance to improve them; the greens have, in over 50% of the cases, been patched up with new turf; and the rough (desert sand and scrub) is poorly maintained. There are also some drainage issues meaning that there are pools of water throughout the rough. Despite these criticisms some financial investment into the course will bring it back to the standard it should be. On a more positive note the course layout is excellent and with a variety of tees this course will test all standards of golfer. There is a premium on hitting fairways and the green complexes are challenging but fair. The variety in length of the Par 4’s and 5’s means that you will use a variety of clubs off the tee and the cleverly angled fairways will punish any poorly directed tee shot. The wind plays a large factor here and although the par 3’s are quite similar in length I used different clubs on each. The clubhouse is excellent and the practice facilities are very good. A little bit of investment into the course and I would easily rate this course one ball higher, if not two. If you are coming to Dubai and want to play a course that is more in keeping with the environment (aside from the Majlis) than the other notable courses (Earth, Els, Creek) then this is worth a visit, but only when they upgrade the maintenance schedule.
3 / 6
Arabian Ranches
March 16, 2012


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It was evident from the standard of the clubhouse on our arrival that this was going to be an enjoyable day at the Arabian Ranches Course. Unlike the Els and Jumeirah courses the clubhouse is not a temporary facility awaiting the money to complete the permanent facility and has been finished to a very high standard. We took advantage of one of the deals available between now and March paying 345DHS (£63) for as much golf as you wanted on the day we managed 36 holes exceptional value for golf in the Emirates. The range facilities were up to the usual standard out here with a good putting green well worth taking advantage of this as it will definitely pay dividends on the course especially if you practice those fast downhill left to right/right to left puts! We played off the blue tees 6500yds SSS73 there are Gold (7000yds) and Black (76000yds) for those big hitters out there but the challenge from the blues was ample enough for a 12 handicapper. The fairways are reasonably tight but not impossible to hit with good bunkering to make you think about ball placement. Stray off the fairway though and you are into waste ground with tufted grass and bushes to steal the errant shot. The greens are tough and knowledge of the course is a definite benefit otherwise toy will find yourself swiftly running down the well designed surrounding slopes or leaving yourself with a very tricky downhill or uphill put. The knowledge from the morning certainly gave me the chance to knock several shots off my morning score. After taking advantage of the marvellous changing rooms we had a very enjoyable meal on the outdoor terrace surrounded by local members and residents from the surrounding development. This is definitely a course not to be missed on your holiday and I for one will certainly be back next time I am out here.
5 / 6
Arabian Ranches
January 14, 2011


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Flow is the key word here, one hole links you seamlessly to the next, and although there are no huge changes of elevation and greatly elevated tee boxes, you still get a feeling of continuity, but don't mistake that for sameness. I played in a buggy in 40 degrees in August, but I would like to walk it in more temperate weather, as the green to next tees distances are very manageable and the local tall grasses give a very linksy feel with fairways that run a fair distance, especially in dry weather. In keeping with the links principle there are no water hazards on the course - instead there's extensive use of cleverly designed sandy indentations planted with abundant local flora which intrude into the grass fairways to both shape the course and to help defend the greens - I found myself in the sandy rough areas on more than one occasion. There are quite a few mature trees which is unusual - due to the twin problems of camels and lack of water - and they gave a bit more structure to the aesthetics of the course, which is laid out in 2 loops of nine coming back to the clubhouse.

I played it whilst they are midway through a project to remove some of the taller bushes from the edge of the fairway and widen the fairway in places to ensure the course wasn't overly punishing to wayward shots. So now whilst low handicappers can do well, it's more playable for mid. handicappers. I particularly enjoyed the 3rd a long par 5 with a green nestling in a huge sand dune flanked by trees, and I was content to bogey the 5th, a long par 4 (SI-1) after a bit of bother with the rather undulating green.

The course gets more traffic and thus a bit more wear and tear than some of the bigger name courses with much smaller membership, but you have to balance that against the fact that's it's open all year round and they don't close to overseed. It's predominantly a members club with over 400 members mostly from within the Arabian Ranches development. On a Thursday evening when I was there, the place was full with members and their families dining out and it felt like a community ambience and a place you'd like to be a member of. Arabian Ranches may not top of everyone's list of courses to visit in Dubai, where people often come to play the 'big names', but it I definitely think it's worth a visit and I feel I could go back there and I'd know I'll get a warm welcome.
5 / 6
Arabian Ranches
August 16, 2009


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