The Dubai Hills Estate is set within the Mohammad Bin Rashid City quarter of Dubai and it’s a development from the Emaar property company, which includes the Burj Khalifa building in its portfolio, along with another couple of golf courses at Arabian Ranches and Address Montgomerie.
It’s a 2018 European Golf Design production, with Gary Johnston the lead architect, and the course is set out as two returning nines – the outward half in an anti-clockwise fashion then the inward half in a clockwise manner – with fairways continually changing direction to create a “big reveal” from one hole to the next.
The site was formerly a camel stable on a largely flat property but, with much of the course laid out at a lower grade because fill was required for the residential areas, it means that quite a few of the holes are played in isolation within little valleys, below the level of the surrounding houses.
“The front nine has some dramatic elevation changes with wadi-style features,” says Gary Johnston. “The holes leading back to the clubhouse (8, 9, 16, 17 and 18) are built around a series of lakes, which double as irrigation storage, and are lusher in their planting style, and the back nine is more desert-like in the shaping and planting.”
Highlight holes include the short par four 6th (which measures 330 yards from the back tees but offers a helping slope on the right of the fairway), the par three 13th (with a lone Ghaf tree guarding the left side of the green), and another short par four at the 16th, which incorporates a split fairway and water down the right side of the hole.
Dubai Hills is always in very good condition when you play. The course is fairly friendly off the tee with generous fairways. The trouble is generally around the fast greens where you have run offs at the back.
Compared to other courses in Dubai it does not require the same length off the tee and makes for enjoyable play for all level of golfers.
The views are spectacular to the skyline of Dubai. My favorite holes are 6,8, 9, 17 and 18. Two of them are tricky par 3 over water which can ruin your scorecard.
There is still a lot of construction going on so in windy conditions it can be a bit unpleasant with sand in the air.
Clubhouse is very nice but often filled wth non golfers so you do not find a table for a drink after the round.
The driving range is good however designed too short so you may not use woods.... you need to go in a cage to warm up the driver. Not good for a course opened in the past few years.