From left to right, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Darren Clark walk down on of the fairways of the "Golden Mile" finish to the new Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
From left to right, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Darren Clark walk down on of the fairways of the "Golden Mile" finish to the new Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Breaking the Earth

DUBAI // The new Earth Course, which will host the world's richest golf tournament in November received a spectacular unveiling when five of the world's leading professionals played what is already being dubbed the Golden Mile. The last four holes on the Greg Norman-designed course at Jumeirah Golf Estates measure almost exactly a mile and Norman, a former world No 1, has set it up to be one of the most demanding finishes on the calendar.

As David Spencer, chief executive of the golf arm of Leisurecorp, the US$100million (Dh368m) sponsors of the Race To Dubai, the rebranded Order of Merit, put it as he stood on the 18th tee: "Somebody at the end of this year is likely to have a putt on that green in the far distance that will be worth $3.67m." That will be the case if the inaugural winner of the Dubai World Championship which carries a first prize of $2m also wins the Race to Dubai which would be worth a further $1.67m.

Yesterday the World Championship organisers invited a cluster of big names to have a preview of the new course. In one team of three were Sergio Garcia, the world No 2 and the top ranked player in action at the moment in the absence of Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, who won the Order of Merit in 2007, and the Northern Irish Ryder Cup player Darren Clarke. They were up against Robert Karlsson, the 2008 Order of Merit champion, Martin Kaymer, winner of last year's Abu Dhabi Championship and runner-up there two weeks ago, and Khalid Yousef , the Emriati teenager who has received a sponsor's invitation to play in this weekend's Dubai Desert Classic for the second time.

A birdie two by Karlsson on the 191-yard 17th hole, which is based on the famous Island Green at Sawgrass in Florida, tipped the balance in a tight match which was watched by a gallery of about 100 guests, including George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, and Keith Waters, the Tour's international director. O'Grady said: "This is really exciting to be able to see what is the vision for our tour's showpiece event. These are the kind of conditions that we wish we could play on all the time."

Garcia said:"We only got to play four holes but what I saw out there looked great. "There are a lot of possibilities for pin positions because the greens are so big. There are lots of different ways that they can set up the course, so I'm looking forward to playing it for real." The Spaniard, who is leading the Race to Dubai, is, barring injury, likely to be among the 60 qualifiers for the Dubai World Championship.

The other four professionals will also fancy their chances of competing for that record purse. As for Yousef, a scratch amateur golfer, he hopes his time will come one day. He said: "I would love to be back here as one of the qualifiers. "I have to believe in myself that I am capable of rising to the level I saw out there. "It was a great experience for me. These top players made me feel so welcome and they have certainly helped to calm my nerves before the Desert Classic."


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

While you're here

Fights start from 6pm Friday, January 31

Catchweight 82kg
Piotr Kuberski (POL) v Ahmed Saeb (IRQ)

Women’s bantamweight
Cornelia Holm (SWE) v Corinne Laframboise (CAN)

Omar Hussein (JOR) v Vitalii Stoian (UKR)

Josh Togo (LEB) v Ali Dyusenov (UZB)

Isaac Pimentel (BRA) v Delfin Nawen (PHI)

Catchweight 80kg​​​​​​​
Seb Eubank (GBR) v Mohamed El Mokadem (EGY)

Mohammad Yahya (UAE) v Ramadan Noaman (EGY)

Alan Omer (GER) v Reydon Romero (PHI)

Ahmed Labban (LEB) v Juho Valamaa (FIN)

Elias Boudegzdame (ALG) v Austin Arnett (USA)

Super heavyweight
Roman Wehbe (LEB) v Maciej Sosnowski (POL)


Uefa Champions League, last-16, second leg (first-leg scores in brackets):

PSG (2) v Manchester United (0)

Midnight (Thursday), BeIN Sports

UAE finals day

Friday, April 13
Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

3pm, UAE Conference: Dubai Tigers v Sharjah Wanderers
6.30pm, UAE Premiership: Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins


Director: Shashank Khaitan

Starring: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khattar, Ashutosh Rana

Stars: 3


Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Director: James Gunn

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

Rating: 4/5

Cry Macho

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam


The story in numbers


This is how many recognised sects Lebanon is home to, along with about four million citizens


More than this many Palestinian refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, with about 45 per cent of them living in the country’s 12 refugee camps

1.5 million

There are just under 1 million Syrian refugees registered with the UN, although the government puts the figure upwards of 1.5m


The percentage of stateless people in Lebanon, who are not of Palestinian origin, born to a Lebanese mother, according to a 2012-2013 study by human rights organisation Frontiers Ruwad Association


The number of marriages recorded between Lebanese women and foreigners between the years 1995 and 2008, according to a 2009 study backed by the UN Development Programme


The number of people believed to be affected by the current nationality law, according to the 2009 UN study


This is how many Lebanese-Palestinian households there were in Lebanon in 2016, according to a census by the Lebanese-Palestinian dialogue committee


Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE