Discovery Land is coming to Dubai South, Mike Meldman Chairman and Founder, explains more to Golf Digest Middle East about the private, members-only residential luxury golf communities he has created in sought-after locations around the world. Next up for him is “Discovery Dunes”.

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Mike, explain to us why you started Discovery Land Company?

When I founded Discovery Land Company in 1994, I was a young, ambitious real estate developer. More importantly, I was a single dad on a personal mission to spend more time with my two boys. I realized that if I built the most sublime golf courses and sumptuous homes, none of it mattered to me if it didn’t allow me to build a life that was centred around the people I cared about the most.

At Discovery, we create extraordinary communities in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, best known for our active, family-focused lifestyle. My driving passion has been and always will be family. I strive every day to create an environment for families that fosters connections, memories, and fun.

Michael Meldman – CEO Discovery Land

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What made you choose Dubai as one of your Discovery Land Company locations? Adding another destination to your portfolio of properties?

The mission of Discovery goes beyond building homes. We have a rich history of crafting unforgettable experiences worldwide, creating communities that aren’t just attractive to parents but also become a destination where their kids and someday grandkids want to go.

Every Discovery Club property is carefully designed with great attention to detail—from innovative architecture and landscaping to an exhilarating range of outdoor activities and experiences.

We are excited to take our first steps into the Middle East with the launch of Discovery Dunes in Dubai South. We spent over 15 years searching for the right place to build in Dubai. The goal is to create an environment for families to nurture connections, make lasting memories and most importantly, have fun. For a population of 3.5 million people, Dubai only has ten 18-hole golf courses, making this a perfect location for the first truly privatised course in a city with such avid players.

I remember seeing Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai on 60 Minutes early on, sharing his vision. The first time I visited, you could truly grasp what they were talking about and see the ongoing developments. I’ve always believed Dubai would be one of the great places for Discovery.

Mike Meldman playing in the 2024 Dubai Invitational

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When do you anticipate Discovery Dunes to be completed and is it a phased completion?

The construction on Discovery Dunes has begun. We will commence handover on our land plots in 2024 and the golf course is set to be ready by Q4 2025.

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What is the demographic you aim to target in Dubai?

Dubai is a city known for its luxury developments, and we aim to attract like-minded individuals to become members of Discovery. Our member-owners come from a variety of backgrounds from business moguls, tech titans to major athletes and world-renowned entertainers, catering to local and international individuals seeking a casual luxury residential experience in an intimate safe-haven. Complemented by best-in-class amenities, bespoke services and curated experiences, Discovery offers a lifestyle tailored for active, family-focused living.

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Is there a pricing structure of the properties? How does someone become a member or a resident?

Our prices depend on the size, proximity to amenities, and views of each property. To become a member of Discovery Dunes, buyers should purchase an estate or a luxury developer residence and be invited to become a member. Membership grants access to the exclusive Discovery Dunes amenities.

The golf angle is exciting, will you have a criteria for membership and if so what is the rough outline of that?

Discovery Dunes is located in the Golf district of Dubai South, and it will be the city’s first and only truly private golf experience of an 18-hole championship golf course designed by the legendary Tom Fazio; a course that does not adopt a tee time policy and welcomes all golfers from beginner to pro.

The unique charm of Discovery Golf is that it’s just really good fun. The fact you can golf barefoot adds to this vibe – we’ve taken out the traditional elements for a more relaxed game—this is what makes Discovery Golf different and has improved the game for so many of our members.

The Madison Club – La Quinta, California

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You mentioned it is being designed by the legendary golf course architect, Tom Fazio. What can we expect from this course in particular?

Tom Fazio is a Master of Design. He has created some of the most imaginative courses around the world. He is renowned for spacious tee boxes, wide tumbling fairways, flashed-up bunkers and large, gently contoured green complexes.

His meticulously designed courses offer multiple “playing lines” to accommodate golfers of varying abilities and we expect Tom’s hallmark designs at Discovery Dunes and our signature Comfort Stations to set a new standard in on-course amenities.

While members are waiting for the golf course to open, they can access the private members club, Discovery Downtown on the 23rd floor of the Dubai Edition hotel, and utilise our state-of-the-art golf simulator and other facilities like the restaurant, lounge area, bar, private dining room and cinema screening room for the kids.

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How does Discovery Land Company compare to other international markets with the extreme boom that Dubai is experiencing currently?

We have a rare and unique advantage given our strong affiliation with experienced local partners and the government in Dubai being well-positioned to thrive during the current real estate boom.

These partnerships provide Discovery Land Company with invaluable insights and local expertise to navigate the market more effectively, and we are excited to grow alongside our partners.

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How do you see the future of Discovery Land Company?

We remain committed to delivering the highest quality developments in prime locations globally, with a continued dedication to creating an environment that brings families and friends closer together to cherish meaningful moments.

Our vision includes and is not limited to opportunities in the Middle East, North America, and Europe.

Images: Discovery Land