The Royal Golf Club in Bahrain. Supplied

The DP World Tour has marked its long-awaited return to Bahrain with a special signing ceremony in the Kingdom.

The tour is set to return to the Middle East nation for the first time in 13 years with the Bahrain Championship scheduled to take place at Royal Golf Club from February 1-4, 2024.

The announcement of the tournament, which will be held under the patronage of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, was marked by a signing ceremony by Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa alongside DP World Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley.

“We are pleased to host the Bahrain Championship on the DP World Tour in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said Sheikh Khaled. “This championship, which forms part of what is an elite professional golf tournament series, is organised in cooperation between the Royal Golf Club, the General Sports Authority, the Bahrain Olympic Committee, and the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority.

“Golf is a sport that receives major support and sponsorship from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain. His Majesty is a passionate practitioner and enthusiast of this sport, which reflects His Majesty’s great interest in and support for sports and athletes. His Majesty is the foremost athlete in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“We take pride in hosting this international championship, where a constellation of professional players will compete at the Royal Golf Club. Organising this event is part of our continued commitment to supporting various sports, including golf, which is one of the most important sports at the global level. We have full confidence in the success of this championship, thanks to the cooperation and integration between various civil and governmental entities in presenting it in the best possible manner.

“Through embracing this championship, we aim to elevate Bahrain’s position and showcase its capabilities in hosting sporting events. We also want to emphasise our commitment to the development of golf in the Kingdom. We wish all participants continued success and prosperity.”

Faris Mustafa Al Kooheji, Secretary General of Bahrain Olympic Committee, added: “We are thrilled to welcome back the DP World Tour to Bahrain. Golf is a game, not only of great skill, but one which showcases the highest levels of sportsmanship, fairness and etiquette and one which the Kingdom is proud to support and encourage. Through hosting the Bahrain Championship and welcoming some of the best golfers in the world, we are underlining our commitment to this wonderful sport.”

An initiative has been put in place between the Bahrain Olympic Committee and the DP World Tour which will see local golfers awarded spots to compete in the tournament, with a minimum of two places reserved for Bahraini players. Two amateur spots will be up for grabs at the Bahrain Amateur Open, taking place from October 12-14. The overall winner plus a spot for the leading Bahraini amateur will be awarded. Additionally, the leading Bahraini as well as the winner of the King Hamad Trophy, played November 23-25, will tee it up alongside the DP World Tour professionals in the Bahrain Championship.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “I would firstly like to thank His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa for welcoming us to the Kingdom of Bahrain as we launch a new event on our International Schedule.

“The Bahrain Championship will mark the DP World Tour’s return to the Kingdom of Bahrain for the first time since 2011 and helps form part of our International Swing of events.

“We are excited to return to Bahrain in February as we continue to showcase our diverse array of tournaments in different countries and cultures across the world.”

The event, which has a prize fund of $2.5 million, takes place at the Royal Golf Club, where the course has undergone extensive upgrades, with a number of greens on the front nine having been redesigned, to ensure it is in prime condition to welcome the stars of the DP World Tour.

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the host venue for the DP World Tour’s visit in 2024,” said Waleed Al Alawi, Chairman of the Royal Golf Club. “This tournament will shine a spotlight on Bahrain’s sports scene and will further establish the Royal Golf Club as a leading golfing destination in the region. We are excited to welcome the world’s top golfers to our esteemed club and showcase the beauty of our country.”