I stayed at Jebel Ali only a handful of years after the course opened for play, so this review is far from current. However, I wanted to share my opinion that this is a quality venue both from a golfing and accommodation perspective. Jebel Ali is located in its own Freezone, about 20 miles to the southwest of central Dubai. 40 miles further on along the E11 highway is Abu Dhabi, so Jebel Ali can serve both locations comfortably. I felt the Jebel course itself, albeit nine holes, was every bit as enjoyable as the Emirates Majlis and Wadi (as was) and Dubai Creek, which I also played on this trip.
One of the reasons for posting this review is to share a tale that amused me. I went to the Jebel Ali golf office ahead of one of my numerous rounds to check in and one of the staff told me in a delightful broken English/Arabian accent that I was paired up with a certain Mr & Mrs B. Rooking. Fair enough I thought – no problem and I wandered off to the first tee only to find that I’d been paired with one of my childhood football heroes, Sir Trevor Brooking and his lovely wife Hikka. It was my most memorable nine holes as the Brookings were not only engaging company but also great fun.
When I return to Jebel Ali I won’t expect to play with Trevor Brooking, but what is likely to happen is that I’ll find an enjoyable 9-hole course at a quality hotel that is in easy reach of all the new courses in this region that I’d like to sample at some future point… including Yas Links, which everyone tells me is worth the trip to the UAE alone.
Date: January 15, 2014