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Scotland’s First Minister fosters partnership between Scotland and UAE golf

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, November 02 - 2011 @ 13:54

Leading amateur golfers representing Scotland – ‘The Home of Golf’, will return to the UAE for the second successive year on 18 November, for a month of warm weather training and activities designed to enhance ties with the UAE national squad.

Golf was invented in Scotland and the country continues to be ‘The Home of Golf’ and the global mecca of the game. Scotland’s choice to send the future of its professional representation to the UAE and one of the world’s finest golf facilities, Yas Links Golf Club, illustrates the growing significance of the Middle East and the UAE in particular as a leading golf destination.

‘The Home of Golf in the UAE’ programme has received support from the highest levels of the Scottish Government and the Emirates Golf Federation with a long term ambition to forge ever strengthening links between Scotland and the UAE in a golfing context.

Speaking at the start of his official visit to the UAE on 1 November 2011, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, said, “I am delighted that the SGU have chosen for the second time to hold their training camp for the Scottish squad here in Abu Dhabi.”

Salmond said, “Not only will this be a great opportunity for the Scottish squad to benefit from the fantastic facilities and weather, but also a chance for the SGU to share their wisdom with the UAE’s national team to help develop the sport here.”

He added, “This is another example of how we are strengthening ties between Scotland and the UAE.”

“Exporting our rich heritage of golf to those parts of the world where interest in the sport will certainly generate valuable golf and tourism links between us and I look forward to watching our relationship grow,” Salmond pointed out.

One of the main goals of the programme is to foster a closer partnership with the Emirates Golf Federation. The schedule of activities will include an international test match between the two countries and a number of elite coaching clinics in an effort to develop talent in the UAE.

H.E. Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of Emirates Golf Federation, said, “Scotland’s amateur squad has had many successes in recent years so we really appreciate their insight in an effort to develop golf in this country.”

“This programme is a wonderful opportunity for the UAE national team to learn from Scotland’s elite coaches and spend valuable time with the squad,” added Chris Vallender, UAE National Team Coach.

The Scottish national squad, who are sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management who are further supporting the team’s travel to the UAE, will arrive in Abu Dhabi on 18 November. The squad will be based at the most Scottish of all golf courses in the region, Yas Links Golf Club, the Host Venue for the programme.

“We are delighted to open our doors to the Scottish squad at Yas Links,” said Chris White, General Manager, Yas Links Golf Club.

“Given that Yas boasts the first Links golf course in the region, we can offer the Scottish squad a ‘home from home’ for a month of training at the fantastic facilities here at Yas,” he added.

Yas Island is a perfect location for the squad who will be staying at the contemporary Centro Yas Island, just minutes from the golf course.

Patrick Martinez, General Manager of Yas Island Rotana and Centro Yas Island, said, “We are looking forward to welcoming Scotland’s national squad.”

“It’s the ideal base for golfers visiting the UAE, highly distinctive in a contemporary environment, Centro Yas Island is really convenient for all the golfers training here,” he added.

The Home of Golf in the UAE programme is supported by Yas Links Golf Club – Host Venue, Centro Yas Island – Official Hotel, Aberdeen Asset Management – Official Sponsor of the Scottish Golf Union, Emirates Golf Federation – Sanctioning Body and WSM Communications – Organiser.

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Wednesday, November 2- 2011 @ 13:54 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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