Dubai Country Club's Decline & Rise
DCC's financial difficulties were largely overcome by late 1970s. DCC's Membership increased dramatically due to Dubai's expanding expatriate population. But that brought a change in Membership demographics.
In the early days DCC's Members were mainly "Professional Expatriates" - people who spent their working lives outside their home countries. They were used to setting up afresh in new countries with minimal facilities. As Dubai grew, demand for skilled and professional workers increased. People were recruited who had never lived and worked overseas. An inducement was they could bring their families with them. Demands on DCC began to change. New Members wanted better facilities for their families.
DCC's Golfers established a separate Clubhouse with their own Committee to run their affairs. This led to a "Club within a Club". The financial strength and political control remained with the Club's Committee who decided to redesign and rebuild DCC's Clubhouse and all DCC's facilities. This included a third Squash Court to meet increasing demand for squash facilities. This new Squash Court was to be capable of hosting international squash events. Squash was seen as a growing sport that could enhance DCC's profile. These ambitious projects meant further bank loans. At the same political differences meant the Golf Section was not included in the new development. They were to continue in their prefabricated building.
DCC was born out of a lack of community facilities in Dubai for Expatriates. By 1980s things had changed. Dubai was building new housing complexes. Many were self contained communities with swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts and maybe a Club facility offering food and drinks. New hotels included sports complexes offering Memberships. Expatriates in Dubai had a choice. DCC was no longer the "only show in town"! DCC's Membership applications declined. DCC's Membership list shortened as Members were transferred to other counties to work or returned to their home countries on completion of their contracts. Emirates Golf Club opened in 1989 attracting many of DCC's stalwart Golfing Members with the prospect of playing on grass. DCC began to struggle financially in the early 1990s.
Changing Population Needs
As Dubai's Expatriate population grew there was a realisation amongst Employers that Dubai was now a desirable place to live and work and economic conditions outside Dubai meant employment conditions could be less generous than in the past. New arrivals found many benefits previously enjoyed by Expatriates were no longer available. Salaries became "all encompassing". Employees were expected to fund living expenses out of their salaries. Employer paid Living Allowances (including Club Memberships) were a thing of the past. Attitudes changed. Families were now content to stay during Dubai's peak summer months, partly due to shorter annual leave periods but also economics and availability of increasing numbers of air conditioned venues. It was no longer a trial for families to remain in Dubai during the summer. But Mothers needed to keep their children occupied during school holidays. DCC offered a facility where children could play and take part in activities in a safe secure environment. Hotel Club Membership became increasingly expensive as did eating out at hotel restaurants. By late 1990s DCC was again seen by Expatriates as offering "value for money" . DCC's Membership again began to grow.
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