Dubai’s resumption of sporting events following the coronavirus pandemic will have a positive impact on mental health, professional golfer Ian Poulter said ahead of the Golf in Dubai Championship.
Part of the European Tour, the tournament will take place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from December 1 to 4, followed by the DP World Tour Championship the week afterwards.
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“I think it’s a good thing for Dubai, I think it’s a good thing for mental health for everybody,” Poulter, currently ranked 26th in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, said.
Major global sporting events were broadly shut down earlier this year as authorities enacted strict lockdowns in a bid to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, Dubai announced it would allow crowds of up to 30 per cent capacity to return to sporting events following an announcement from the city’s sports council.
“Sport is a great part of people’s daily life, and I feel it’s good to get us back to sport. We have to continue to open things up, and I think Dubai’s a great place to do that,” Poulter added.
“When you look at the hotels, the food, the whole accommodation front, the shopping experience, the sport experience that I’ve had on a personal level, there’s not many places you can go in the world that tick all of those boxes,” he said.
“I think it’s a region in the world where all of us golfers enjoy coming to play golf,” he added.
The tournament is expected to bring economic benefits to the city, which has spearheaded golf events in the past. A 2017 report by accounting firm Deloitte showed that a total of $329 million was spent on golf in Dubai in 2016.
All of the golf clubs in the UAE closed when the pandemic hit the region in the middle of March.
However, golf was one of the first sports to get up and running again, as social distancing can be practiced while playing.
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