News & Tours

Dubai Duty Free’s stake in golf grows as the airport retailer becomes official European Tour partner

By Kent Gray
Dubai Duty Free has joined Emirates Airlines as the UAE’s second big-name backer of the European Tour.

The airport retail operator has signed a four year deal to become an Official Partner of the game’s most global tour, joining Rolex, BMW, Emirates, Hilton and Titleist on an exclusive list. No financial details were released.

The deal follows the extension of DDF’s title sponsorship of Dubai Duty Free Irish Open until 2020 with a two year right of renewal, announced last week. Jon Rahm opens his defence of the Rolex Series event at Ballyliffin on Thursday.

Related: Dubai Duty Free ‘delighted’ with Irish Open’s star treatment

“We are pleased to join a stellar list of companies to become an official partner of European Tour,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of DDF.

“We have identified marketing opportunities for our brand across several tournaments as well as digital elements that will enable us to engage with our global customers. We are very excited about this partnership going forward and believe it will enhance our existing sponsorship portfolio.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said: “This agreement marks an important evolution of our partnership and we are thrilled to welcome Dubai Duty Free to the European Tour Official Partner family. We look forward to working closely with them in future to build their brand awareness and achieve their goal of supporting sport globally.”

In 2017, the European Tour heralded a new era for the game as eight prestigious events were elevated to Rolex Series status, each event carrying a minimum US$7 million prize fund. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is one of them.

DDF association with the European Tour dates back to 1989 and the first (now Omega) Dubai Desert Classic. It’s backing extended to DP World Tour Championship upon the the season-ending event’s 2009 debut  before the it assumed the title-sponsorship of the Irish Open, one of golf’s most historic national Opens, in 2015.

DDF also support the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and horse racing’s prestigious Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.


Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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