Dubai Country Club is no more!
DCC was established on the traditional "British Club" model by a small group of Expatriates. In the beginning DCC was "exclusive" and relatively difficult to join - prospective members needed recommending by an existing member i.e. you had to "know" someone. Need for income to support the Club soon led to "The Rules" being relaxed as more expatriates were encouraged to join.
30 plus years after its opening, DCC is leaving Dubai with a remarkable legacy.
Golf in Dubai grew out of DCC's sand course not just the game but also the events the game of golf generates. The Desert Classic and DP World's Race to Dubai are descendants of DCC's 1979 first Dubai Open Golf Championship and British Caledonian Pro Am Series. 1979 Dubai Open Golf attracted golfers from the Gulf Countries, Africa, UK and Pakistan and became a regular event on the golfing calendar. British Caledonian Lions brought professional golfers to Dubai for the first time in the 1970s. Top players such as Brian Barnes, Tommy Horton (both Ryder Cup Team Members) and Ewen Murray (now a Golf Commentator) played golf on DCC's sand course and continued to do so until around 1990. They took away a favourable impression of Dubai and spread the message. Soon more professional golfers were willing to play golf in Dubai.
There are several stories about how Dubai's first grass golf course at Emirates Golf Club came into being but there is no doubt DCC's sand golf course was instrumental in establishing golf in Dubai by showing the level of interest and golf's potential for Dubai. DCC introduced many non golfers to the game of golf, providing training and education programmes.
Squash & Entertainment
Dubai's Squash grew in stature through DCC's support for the game. Its international standard squash court attracted World Champions Jonah Barrington and Geoff Hunt to Dubai for several exhibition tours. DCC introduced the Dubai International 3s Squash Tournament attracting sponsored Squash Teams from around the World. Tennis, badminton, snooker were all sports played at DCC that brought international players to Dubai. DCC's 1970's foray into live entertainment with professional performers such as Billy Connolly and Cannon and Ball expanded over the years into hosting a variety of events culminating in the 2006 Rock Festival..
DCC's end came as result of Dubai's over-reaching ambitions. Dubai's development plans for Khor Dubai meant DCC had to close. Arguments that Sheikh Rashid gave the land to DCC were rejected. This was not unusual. Even Government entities found Sheikh Rashid had sometimes not recorded his decisions or issued conflicting instructions. That did not matter in Dubai's early days but as Dubai expanded and Planners and Surveyors began their work these anomalies were found and new decisions made. DCC closed on November 30th 2007.
A New Beginning - Almost!
DCC was offered land in a different location and offered financial compensation to enable a new Clubhouse to be built. The offer was accepted. Planning was in progress but the Global Financial Crisis intervened. Prospective Members were unwilling to pay fees required pus there were difficulties with the Developers. Eventually the project was abandoned and Dubai Country Club became part of Dubai's history and remembered only by those who knew Dubai as it used to be.
Next DCC Story: The Beginning >>>>