5 Reasons to Take an Arabian Golf Cruise

Enchanting days, relaxing nights and world-class golf are cornerstones of PerryGolf cruises to the Arabian Gulf.

The 2018 Arabian Gulf & Emirates Golf Cruise embarks from Dubai on Oct. 31, 2018. PerryGolf Co-Founder Colin Dalgleish is your host for this 7-Night, 4-Round voyage which tours the Persian Gulf.

Clients interested in enjoying a few more days at sea (and another round of golf) might prefer the 11-Night, 5-Round 2019 Arabian Gulf & Emirates Golf Cruise, which also departs Dubai, setting sail on Nov. 29 of next year.

Whatever your pleasure, PerryGolf and Azamara Quest form the ideal partnership to help you enjoy this mystical corner of the world, experience the culture, refresh at sea and play exquisite golf courses sprinkled throughout the region.

Open your eyes to these five reasons to cruise the Arabian Gulf.


Dubai Grand Mosque

Known as the ‘Venice of the Gulf,’ endless skyscrapers and the powerful beauty of extravagant architecture mark this progressive oasis in the desert. Explore the Dubai Grand Mosque, which was originally constructed in 1900, but has undergone numerous rebuilds and renovations during the last century and features the tallest Minaret in Dubai. Gold Souk is the largest market of its kind and offers an array of goods that should not be missed. Traditional wooden boats (dhows) float along the Dubai Creek Waterfront, which separates Deira from Bur Dubai, carving through the city center. Walk the narrow streets and gaze at the limestone homes in Bastakia, a neighborhood  and restored  Bastakia, a neighborhood


The Golf

Saadiyat Beach was designed in harmony with the natural landscape and with respect for the coastal environment.

Perhaps you watched the epic shootout last month between Haotong Li and Rory McIlroy at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Li outlasted McIlroy with a remarkable 23-under total, taking full advantage of the pristine condition of the Emirates Golf Club Majlis Course, which was the first grass course in Dubai and the longtime host of this marquee event on the European Tour schedule. PerryGolf cruises to the Arabian Gulf include a round on the Majlis Course, which includes seven freshwater and saltwater lakes. This region is loaded with an array of other wonderful courses available as part of the cruise package. Saadiyat Beach Club, designed by Gary Player, was the first oceanfront layout in the region. Royal Golf Club Bahrain is a Colin Montgomerie design, mixing links-style and desert golf. It was the site of the European Tour’s inaugural Volvo Champions Tournament. Doha Golf Club, available on the 2019 PerryGolf Arabian Golf Cruise, is the home of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which you can enjoy on Golf Channel from Feb. 22-25. The talented South African professional Branden Grace won at Doha in 2015 and 2016 while reigning U.S. Masters champion Sergia Garcia took the crown in 2014.


Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates features a population of 1.2 million, 80 percent of which are expatriates. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-see attraction on any visit to this city. It’s the eighth-largest mosque in the world, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that’s more spectacular. Constructed entirely with white marble, featuring massive chandeliers, the mosque is intricate and rich in detail, and the abundance of natural sunlight flowing into the building alters the appearance and feel of your visit, depending on the time of day. Making a desert safari in a four-wheel drive vehicle is also an enjoyable way to spend part of a day in Abu Dhabi, not to mention the gorgeous waterfront along Corniche Road or the plethora of souks and malls where you can shop to your heart’s delight.


From the city’s social center in centuries-old Souq Waqif to the striking beauty of the Museum of Islamic Arts on the waterfront, which was designed by I.M. Pei and a multitude of historical buildings and artifacts that represent the region’s diverse and interesting culture, Doha is a interesting city that can be enjoyed on PerryGolf cruises to the region. Hop aboard a dhow and cruise the bay along the seaside promenade Al-Corniche, sure not to miss Palm Island and its beauty. Doha is the capital of Qatar and the recent rapid economic expansion is easy to see.


Relaxation and Relationships

What better way to rekindle your relationship with your better half, than spending a week or so at sea and on land, enjoying the amenities of an elegant ship like Azamara Quest, playing golf together or simply experiencing the culture and history available in this unique part of the world. Onboard the ship, you’ll enjoy fine dining and beautiful views from the deck in addition to an array of lounges and bars, where you can expect first-class service and hospitality from the highly trained staff and crew. Make friendships with your fellow guests that are certain to last a lifetime. That’s a hallmark of any PerryGolf cruise and the exotic adventures awaiting in the Arabian Gulf are certain to be satisfying and memorable.


London Heathrow – T5

By Anne Filshie.  Anne is the Group Director of Operations at PerryGolf.

With Rory McIlroy leading the European Tour order of merit, we decided to travel out for the inaugural ‘Race to Dubai’ – the deciding event.   Rory and Ross McGowan are two players whom we know well and wanted to go and support, so we decided to travel on British Airways from Glasgow via Heathrow to Dubai.  This gave me my second experience travelling through Heathrow’s brand new Terminal Five.  Pretty much the entire British Airways service is based at T5, and while they had their share of teething problems, it is a particularly slick operation.  From the main building there are two smaller terminals, easily reached by a continuous monorail.  Apparently the underground luggage transport system is amazing to see, and my experience would be that it works efficiently even with a very short connection time.

T5 at London Heathrow
T5 at London Heathrow

On the way out to Dubai (as the flight was overnight) we took a 6pm flight to Heathrow to allow us time to have dinner in the BA lounge; we then enjoyed the fantastic experience of First Class.  British Airways Club Class and First Class are utterly excellent, and the service is exceptionally good.  Nothing beats the flat beds; you get a great sleep, and do not miss a minute of your holiday no matter if you travel east or west.  We arrived into Dubai on the Friday morning, travelled straight to the golf course and watched golf all day.

I am very impressed with Terminal Five, lovely experience.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

As for the golf…well Lee Westwood was on fire and won the tournament, with Ross McGowan taking second place, and Rory McIlroy third; so it turned out a fantastic result for Ross and Rory’s Scottish fans !


Race to Dubai

While Dubai made headlines last week over its rescheduling of massive debt, from a golf travel perspective it remains an exciting and vibrant city to visit with outstanding hotels and golf courses, plus of course beaches, bars and restaurants. Their state airline, Emirates, covers the globe and offers direct service from a huge number of the world’s principal cities. The weekend before last I made a trip there for the 2009 Dubai World Championship, the final event of the European Tour’s inaugural “Race to Dubai”. We stayed in the Westin Hotel on the beach. It was excellent and I can recommend it highly.

The Race to Dubai is effectively a ramped up version of the European Tour Order of Merit, taking some inspiration from the PGA Tour Fedex Cup, and which brings the leading sixty players together for a season ending event in Dubai with large bonus money at stake.

There was concern expressed in advance in some quarters over the Dubai World Championship due to the level of economic crisis affecting Dubai even before the recent announcement. It did ultimately turn out to be a significant success for the European Tour, although it may have been a little fraught in the lead up in that much of the infrastructure, roadways included, were constructed only shortly before the Tour rolled into town. The tournament itself was splendidly staged with spectators extremely well catered for, the media centre unusually enjoying a grandstand view over the 18th green, and fabulous hospitality also available (I was fortunate to have been a guest of the European Tour for hospitality on the Saturday-:). TV cameras beamed pictures around the world of an exciting contest staged on a beautifully presented golf course, and gave little sight of the massive number of newly built, or half built homes which lay empty and unsold nearby and along the edges of a number of the holes. Vast swathes of empty desert for the remainder of the planned golf courses (Wind, Fire, and Water being the three courses planned to join the current Earth Course) and accompanying hotel and home developments, were also conveniently out of view.

My personal interest in attending the event was in watching a few of the players who have played under my captaincy of the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team over the past 4 years. Of the 58 players in the final starting lineup, four had played or been involved in the squads (Chris Wood, Danny Willett, Ross McGowan and most notably Rory McIlroy) proving that the highest performing amateurs can very quickly go on to compete at the higher levels of pro golf).

Going in to the Dubai World Championship there were four possible Race to Dubai winners in Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher. Leading the race was 20 year old Rory McIlroy seeking to become the youngest winner of the European Order of Merit (now the Race to Dubai) since Seve Ballesteros way back in 1976 won it as a 19 year old. Quickly it became a two horse race between McIlroy and Westwood. Despite a highly creditable third place finish, McIlroy was overtaken by an extraordinarily on form Lee Westwood who shot a final round 64 to carve out a six shot victory and secure the inaugural win of both the Dubai World Championship and the Race to Dubai, taking his 2009 European Tour earnings to €4,237,000 Also playing outstanding golf in the company of Lee Westwood on the final two days, and quietly finishing in second place for the tournament as well as securing 12th place in the Race to Dubai, was the highly impressive Ross McGowan, whose finish here coupled with his win of the Madrid Masters in September, opens up many new doors for him in the golfing world. As our houseguest in July for the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond I was delighted to be in Dubai to witness his success.

On the final evening we attended a small beach party at the Mina A’Salam Hotel hosted by Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, Managing Director of International Sports Management (ISM) to celebrate Lee Westwood’s win. In as much as ISM managed the first, second and third placed players (Westwood, McGowan, McIlroy) it was certainly a night of celebration!

It was a weary group which then took their places on the following morning’s British Airways flight back to London. A few glasses of champagne were however raised in the toasting of the new champion -:)