The original course in Dubai and in our opinion, still its premier venue.
The host of the Dubai Desert Classic is a Karl Litten design with an emphasis on more traditional architecture values rather than an explosive American style.
The Tour players enjoy all of the venues on the ‘Middle East swing’ but if a poll was to be held, you would strongly suspect the Majlis would come out on top for many.
It has been lengthened since it opened over 25 years ago, but is still not that long by modern standards and it is definitely not the most testing in the emirate. As a result, you can follow in the footsteps of the Tour stars – and everyone has played here, from Seve to Tiger to Ernie to Rory – without being beaten up by it.
Characterised by nice elevation changes, mature trees, neat shrubs and a rare class, its setting on the edge of downtown Dubai gives it the awesome sky scraper views such as the one on the left.
The iconic 8th is similar, a challenging hole, especially in the frequent wind; anywhere right is in the sand hills yet you can also run out of space on the dog-leg if you bear too far left. Photographs of it – with the marina and skyline beyond – are a different sort ‘I was there’, usually taken at Turnberry, the Old Course or Dornoch.
It is part of a front nine that is more difficult than the back side, with the run from the 5th to the turn where you make or break your score. The last provides a great climax for all (if you play off the correct tees) because you can get over the water in two – although now you can’t cut down 17 (as Tiger, Ernie and Laura Davies have done), as it is out of bounds now.
The course takes its name from the spot behind the back of the 9th tee where the Royal family used to meet, as Majlis means meeting place. The distinctive clubhouse mimics bedouin tents.