MENA Tour likely to be back in Oman next year

A file photo of Mundhir al Barwani (centre) and Mohamed Juma Buamaim (right)

The MENA Golf Tour, which has given Oman a miss this year, is likely to be back in the sultanate next year, according to Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Tour.

Muscat Daily had first reported last week that the MENA Tour, which made its Oman debut in 2013, had pulled out of Oman for the first time.

Despite the decision not to have any stopover in Oman this year, Buamaim assured that the Tour will most likely return to Oman “as early as next year”.

The chief of the Dubai-based body lauded the Oman Golf Committee (OGC) for its continued support in putting the Tour on a trajectory of growth and said, “It’s just a matter of time before the Tour events return to the sultanate’s premier golf clubs.”

“We have been visiting Oman since the Tour made its debut at the Ghala Golf Club in 2013. We also organised our flagship season-ending Tour Championship at Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club last year, which is a testament to Oman’s growing reputation as a major golf destination,” said Buamaim.

“The MENA Tour sees it as a responsibility to showcase years of investments made in developing world-class facilities by different countries in the region. And it is one big reason, we have added Jordan’s Ayla Golf Club and Ajman’s Al Zohra Club to our schedule this year.

“As we can only have a limited number of events on our schedule because of extreme weather conditions and other logistical snags, we were forced to skip Oman this year to accommodate new host venues. Any other insinuation will be far from the truth. Ghala and Muscat Hills have been very supportive of the Tour and so is the Oman Golf Committee. We value their commitment and will soon return to Oman, maybe, as early as next year.”

Buamaim said, "With world ranking points in place, it’s a huge pathway for someone from this region to qualify for the Olympics. It gives young professionals much-needed experience, which is difficult to gain.

“Leading amateurs like Azaan al Rumhy (Oman), Khaled Attiah and Othman Almulla (both Saudi Arabia), Ayoub Lguirati

(Morocco) and India’s Dubai-based Rayhan Thomas, to name a few, could be contenders for the elusive Olympics spots if they keep improving.”

The OGC chief, Mundhir al Barwani, had earlier told Muscat Daily that he was “disappointed that the MENA Tour had given Oman a miss this year”.

“The OGC and the hosting clubs in Oman had always provided good support to the Tour.”

muscat daily recycle