All 22 golf clubs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter to demonstrate their collective commitment to growing golf amongst women and girls in the region.

The UAE has become the first-ever country to sign all golf clubs to the Women in Golf Charter. The occasion was marked by representatives from The R&A and signatories who gathered to celebrate at Jumeriah Golf Estates last week.

The Women in Golf Charter leads The R&A’s drive to increase the number of women and girls participating in golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work within the golf industry.

Since being launched in 2018, over 1,300 organisations in 75 countries have signed the Charter, but the UAE is the first country in the world to have all its golf clubs as signatories.   

The Women in Golf Charter aims to inspire an industry-wide commitment to developing a more inclusive culture within golf around the world and to enable more women and girls to flourish and maximise their potential at all levels of the sport.

The Women in Golf Charter specifically aims to: 

  • Strengthen the focus on gender balance and provide a united position for the golf industry
  • Commit national federations and organisations to support measures targeted at increasing participation of women, girls and families in golf
  • Call on signatories to take positive action to support the recruitment, retention and progression of women working at all levels of the sport
  • Set individual targets for national federations for participation and membership and annual reporting of progress
  • Develop an inclusive environment for women and girls within golf

Adoption of the Charter requires signatories to make meaningful and tangible pledges to build on current initiatives and develop new projects that will focus on encouraging more women and girls to play golf and stay within the sport, while also empowering women to enjoy successful careers working within the golf industry.

Some Charter commitments that have been made by golf clubs in the UAE include:

  • Encourage more women and girls’ exposure on website and social media channels.
  • Providing training and education for staff and stakeholders to promote diversity and inclusion and eliminate barriers or biases that may exist.
  • Create a pathway to encourage women to continue to participate in the sport from new women academy members through to membership of the club.
  • Establish quarterly reviews between the charter champion and management to evaluate the delivery of existing commitments.

At an event held last Tuesday at Jumeriah Golf Estates, Jackie Davidson, Director of Golf Development at The R&A and Neal Graham, Development Manager – Middle East and India at The R&A, outlined how the golf industry can work together to achieve these goals at a launch event at Jumeriah Golf Estates, one of the UAE’s leading golf facilities and signatory of the Women in Golf Charter.

Contributing to the further success of golf in the UAE

Davidson said: “The Women in Golf Charter has really galvanised the golf industry around a shared vision for golf and driven change. Since 2018 we have seen over 1,300 organisations in 75 countries, including the United Arab Emirates make their commitment to the Charter and the development of women and girls’ golf. We are already seeing the benefits of this in golf participation numbers around the world, a trend that The R&A and all signatories have a responsibility towards continuing.”

Graham added: “The United Arab Emirates has a proud history of supporting golf at the very highest levels including hosting professional and elite amateur championships for the world’s best golfers. But equally important is providing the opportunity for everyone to experience and enjoy golf.

"The R&A is delighted that all 22 golf clubs in the United Arab Emirates are signatories of the Women in Golf Charter which will position golf as a welcoming sport for women to engage with and contribute to the further success of golf in the country.”

Charter champions at each UAE golf club

The event was attended by representatives of each golf club who will act as charter champions and lead their club’s commitment to the Charter. Also in attendance were other organisations who have pledged their support as signatories of the Charter including the Emirates Golf Federation, IMG and the DP World Tour. 

General Abdulla Alhashmi, Vice Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation said:

“The Emirates Golf Federation is proud that the UAE is the first country in the world to have all its golf clubs signed up to the Women in Golf Charter.

"Today’s celebration of women in golf is a great example of the different initiatives that The R&A can bring to the UAE and the region. With this being Women's Golf Month it is a perfect time to celebrate having all affiliated UAE golf clubs signing the charter and collaborating to encourage women's golf participation at every level including professionally.

"We look forward to continuing to work with all associations and governing bodies within the sport to grow the game.”

Find out more about The R&A's Women in Golf Charter by visiting the website here.