The first ever women’s professional golf tournament to be staged in Abu Dhabi returns to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from 1-4 November
US-golfer Beth Allen has announced that she is set to defend her title as winner of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, which is being held for the second year running under the patronage of the Mother of the Nation, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. The professional golf tournament will once again return to Abu Dhabi at the iconic Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from 1-4 November.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary at Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), said: “We would like to thank H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak — Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood – for her continued support once again in 2017 in ensuring that the FBMLO continues to feature on the global agenda as one of the most important stages for female golfers, thus further underlining Abu Dhabi’s position as a global sports destination.”
Beth Allen, a three-time Ladies European Tour winner and 2016 winner of the LET’s Order of Merit, is set to go head-to-head with other renowned competitors to be announced in the coming weeks. Abu Dhabi will once again welcome another stunning line-up of the world’s best female golf professionals and Allen hopes she’ll feel right at home upon her return.
The defending champion said: “I love Abu Dhabi and this will be a special trip being the first person to defend the FBMLO title. Winning the inaugural tournament and receiving the Gazelle trophy was a massive highlight for me, and a critical point in my 2016 season, when I was in a race to win the Order of Merit and that win helped to seal the deal.”
Looking ahead to this year’s tournament, Allen said: “My goal for this year’s FBLMO is to defend my title! I have found some good form lately, so I am ready to get to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and play some good golf.”
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) partners with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) to oversee the tournament and ensure that sports, including golf, become embedded in local culture. This partnership was evident when FBMA and ADSC held a joint event at ADNEC, in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day on 28 August. Women and children were invited along to directly have a go at a range of sporting activities free of charge, in a private environment. As part of the event, leading Emirati golf player, Hamda Al Suwaidi, held a golf teaching session providing helpful tips for the golf-curious participants. Activities such as this expose the public to a variety of sports hoping to funnel the interest into regular participation.
FBMLO’s defending winner, Beth Allen, expressed her appreciation of initiatives like Emirati Women’s Day in recounting her own experience of growing up with sporting aspirations: “I was inspired by all women athletes. I always wanted to be an elite athlete and played many sports growing up, so I watched women in the Olympics, playing golf or even the WNBA, all of which really inspired me.”
The importance of having a family focused offering at this year’s tournament further highlights FBMA’s strategic vision towards youth, as described by Dr. Mai Al Jaber, Board Member of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Academy. “I believe that by making the tournament so enticing for families to attend, the next generation of young girls can be inspired to take up the game. Introducing youth to sports in a fun and exciting environment, often yields further interest and encourages long-term participation from a young age”, Dr. Al Jaber added.
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open is open to the public to attend and runs from Wednesday, 1st November to Saturday, 4th November, 2017 at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.