Emirates (Majlis) - United Arab Emirates

Emirates Golf Club,
P.O.Box 24040,
United Arab Emirates

  • +971 4 380 2222

  • Christopher May

  • Karl Litten

  • Jamie Wood

Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Emirates (Majlis)

Dubai Desert Classic Winners:

1989 - M James
1990 - E Darcy
1992 - S Ballesteros
1993 - W Westner
1994 - E Els
1995 - F Couples
1996 - C Montgomerie
1997 - R Green
1998 - J M-Olazabal
1999 - D Howell
2000 - J Coceros
2001 - T Bjorn
2002 - E Els
2003 - R Jan Derksen
2004 - M O'Meara
2005 - E Els
2006 - T Woods
2007 - H Stenson
2008 - T Woods
2009 - R McIlroy
2010 - M Angel Jimenez
2011 - A Quiros
2012 - R Cabrera-Bello
2013 - S Gallacher
2014 - S Gallacher
2015 - R McIlroy
2016 - D Willett
2017 - S Garcia
2018 - H Li

The Emirates Golf Club is the inspiration of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his Royal Pavilion – styled in the fashion of a Bedouin tent – nestles behind the 8th green. The Majlis course opened for play in 1988 and it was the first 18-hole grass golf course to open in the Middle East. The layout follows a blueprint by Karl Litten and it’s literally carved through the desert. Narrow green ribbons of fairway wind their way through natural slightly undulating terrain. Expect to play a few sand shots at The Emirates Club.

Without doubt, the Majlis course is one of the finest layouts in the United Arab Emirates and it’s the well-known venue of the Dubai Desert Classic tournament, which always attracts the world’s best players. The Majlis course now stretches out to some 7,301 yards from the tips with par set at 72. Tall desert dunes frame the perimeter of the course and numerous salt and freshwater lakes come into play on several holes.

Large, fast greens are a hallmark of the Emirates Club and these slick putting surfaces can cause great problems for club golfers, especially if the Course Manager is feeling mean with his pin placements.

A cluster of memorable holes will stick in the mind, especially the par three 7th which must carry the full length of a lake and, as with all great courses, the Majlis has a wonderful closing hole which requires an approach shot across yet another lake to a long and thin double green which is fashioned in the shape of a bow tie. The hopes of a number of potential Desert Classic winners – including Ian Woosnam and Tiger Woods – have been dashed at this wicked par five closing hole.

The clubhouse is also well known and is one of Dubai’s amazing landmarks. In a similar vein to the Royal Pavilion, the clubhouse represents a cluster of Bedouin tents. It goes without saying that inside it’s a sumptuous experience.

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Reviews for Emirates (Majlis)

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Description: The Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club opened for play in 1988 and it was the first 18-hole grass golf course to open in the Middle East. Rating: 4.8 out of 6 Reviews: 5

The early days of golfing in the vast desert of Dubai involves the creation of the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club in 1998. Over the years, numerous iconic images from this course have become known around the world including the Bedouin tents for the clubhouse and of course the jaw-dropping skyline of Dubai that grabs your attention from many optimal vantage points. Over the past 20 years, Dubai has exploded with luxurious and state-of-the-art construction. Skyscrapers firms competing left, right and centre with each other for the tallest or most attractive tower in town.

Emirates (Majlis) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

As expected, the golf course is flat which wasn’t a surprise and with the annual visit from the European Tour, many more bunkers have been added to block access to greens or catch stray tee shots. While walking the golf course, I frequently found myself being more impressed with the architecture off the golf course than on the golf course.

Certain tee shots didn’t fit my eye, due to either awkward clusters of trees in the line of sight (e.g. the 5th hole) or doglegs with too severe angles. After 30 years of golf course construction in Dubai, the Majlis course is still regarded as the “best” which I take with a grain of salt, and it puts the quality of the other courses into perspective over 3 decades. The extreme heat also puts far too much strain on the grass which leads to excessive amount of maintenance.

Big name architects have generally not gravitated towards this region of the world to build golf courses because the land just isn’t interesting, or too challenging. The exception to this statement is Gil Hanse being hired to build 'Trump Dubai', but despite this contract, the reports on the course weren’t too encouraging either. After seeing the Maglis course and Abu Dhabi National, it made me appreciate Kyle Philips work down at Yas Links even more.

4 / 6
Emirates (Majlis)
July 02, 2017

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The Emirates seems to be around the oldest construction of any kind in Dubai and like so much else there, just oozes money. The Clubhouse is certainly one of the most opulent I’ve seen with its giant Bedouin tent appearance. Inside the service is excellent and as you wander around the locker room you can see lockers of past captains shared with the former champions of the Desert Classic. Emirates (Majlis) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe course was manicured to perfection being just a day after the ladies masters had finished, really faultless on that count. The Greens were slick but having never putted on grainy greens before I was totally dumbfounded by a few breaks and struggled badly on them. The thing about the course is that there are so many doglegs, you have to shape your shots well to score well here. Highlights for me were playing the holes we see so much of on TV such as the lovely 9th and 18th to the huge double green. Likewise, going for the green on 16 and ending up in the rubbish on the right (like a few of the pros seem to do!) brought a wry smile. Even dropped the ball next to the Colin Montgomery plaque on the 18th fairway in a horrific attempt to emulate his shot of the year! Overall I would say that it’s a fine course, and a must play if you are in the area but for me the course didn’t have the wow factor that a top 100 course should have.
5 / 6
Emirates (Majlis)
January 16, 2012

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This is an exceptional course, as should be expected of a host for one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour. The course favours a right to left shot shape and plays fairly long. You need to think your way around, and it’s a good test for golfers of all skill levels. There are some fantastic holes which will stick in your memory, such as the par-3 7th, the 8th with the bedouin tent half-way hut behind it, the drivable par-4 17th, and the reachable but very testing par-5 18th. The course conditions are immaculate, even in the middle of the punishing summer. If you could play only one course in Dubai, make this it.
5 / 6
Emirates (Majlis)
September 25, 2011

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The image at the Emirates Club of the Majlis tents that encompass the clubhouse are now an instant landmark for golf in Dubai. Playing a golf course that is a fixture on the world stage is always a fantastic treat. This course has become one of the start-of-year courses when the tour has its sojourn to the middle-east along with Abu Dhabi and Qatar. I really enjoyed the course and in fact played to handicap which was a bonus. The condition in Jan 2008 only a couple of weeks ahead of the Desert Classic was as expected – lush where it should be, dry where it should be and greens of high standard. The par-4 8th is a familiar hole, dog-legging right, downhill from the tee and then uphill to the green with the Dubai skyline as the backdrop. TV viewers will be aware of the 9th and 18th holes, both finishing with approach shots over water. The 18th being a par-5 and going for the green in two is normally a must if you can get your drive turning left at about 260 yards. Golf in Dubai is here to stay and the Emirates Club will always be a fixture in it….. Recommended.
5 / 6
Emirates (Majlis)
January 23, 2008

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Played the Majlis course in January 2001, just ahead of the Desert Classic which I watched with interest as Thomas Bjorn went on to win. Naturally I went for it on the 18th and dumped my approach shot into the lake! Make no mistake, this is a great course and a most impressive club. I played Dubai Creek which is also a great track. We stayed at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort which has a great 9-hole course attached… well worth playing too. My overriding memory of the Majlis, apart from the heat was the size of the greens, they are huge and I found myself miles away from the pins on numerous occasions and managed more three putts than I care to remember. The 5th is a great par four which asks serious questions with the approach across a lake and the 7th is a super par three. If you visit Dubai, I’d recommend both the Majlis and the Wadi which is probably the third best course in the country for me.
5 / 6
Emirates (Majlis)
February 03, 2007

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