Dubai Desert Classic upgraded to premium tier with $8 million prize fund

Prestigious Emirates Golf Club event becomes part of Rolex Series with the new sponsors

The Dubai Desert Classic has been upgraded for the first time to the European Tour’s Rolex Series, with global logistics technology provider the tournament’s new title sponsor.

The event, a mainstay of Europe’s lead circuit since its introduction in 1989, will now boast an $8 million prize fund, a significant increase from this year’s purse of $3.25m. Taking place from January 27-30 once more at Emirates Golf Club, the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic will also offer increased Race to Dubai points.

Launched in 2017, the Rolex Series represents the European Tour’s premium category of events. This year’s schedule features four tournaments, beginning with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January and concluding with the DP World Tour Championship – the circuit's season finale – in November. Following Thursday’s announcement, the UAE will be home to three of the five events on the 2022 series.

Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s chief executive, said in a statement on Thursday: “We are delighted to welcome as the new title sponsor of the Dubai Desert Classic, elevating the tournament to a new level.

“It is a real statement of intent that Slync’s first title sponsorship in golf will be as part of the Rolex Series, and we look forward to working together to build on the incredible history of the Dubai Desert Classic and to continue to showcase Dubai as a global sporting and trade hub.

“Alongside the Genesis Scottish Open and the BMW PGA Championship, the three Rolex Series events in the Middle East mean our five premium tournaments in 2022 will be played at key times in the golfing calendar when the eyes of the world are on the European Tour. They will be incredible highlights in what promises to be a momentous 50th anniversary season for the European Tour.”

Dallas-based, who replace Omega as title sponsors, have already made moves into professional golf, with Justin Rose, Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger among their staple of global brand ambassadors.

Founder, chairman and CEO of, Chris Kirchner, said in Thursday’s release: “We are excited to partner with the European Tour and Rolex on the Dubai Desert Classic. Dubai is one of the great cities and a key player in global logistics. This event will be a great place for us to kick off our year with our customers and enjoy some world-class golf.”

Simon Corkill, executive tournament director - Dubai Desert Classic, added: “This is a very exciting time for the Desert Classic as we welcome as title partner. Slync’s status as a leading global logistics technology provider will help to bring innovative ideas to the tournament and ensure it continues to evolve and grow.

“These changes will bring a host of benefits to Dubai and the tournament, in addition to offering our international fans enhanced coverage of the venue and players.”

“We look forward to working with and the rest of our sponsors to deliver a world-class event during a pivotal year for Dubai, when all eyes will descend on the city during the UAE’s 50th anniversary celebrations and the landmark hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Updated: September 2nd 2021, 10:20 AM