Qatar will host a brand new Ladies European Tour tournament from 2016 onwards. The Qatar Ladies Open will be much more than just a big golf tournament, empowering Qatari women and leaving a lasting legacy on the golf scene in the region.
The full field event, which will take place from November 23-26 at Doha Golf Club, will be the third Ladies European Tour event in the Middle East, joining the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and recently announced Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s important to us to help to foster, promote and develop golf in the Middle East,” said LET CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh. “We want to show what a fresh and inspiring game golf is and encourage women in the region to consider it as part of a healthy, active and enjoyable lifestyle. Golf is becoming a sport that is well known in the region and we have seen lots of juniors on the fairways. We also want to increase the number of women and girls who play and the new Qatar Ladies Open will be very important in terms of driving interest. Qatar has hosted some amazing sport events. Hosting a Lades European Tour event will add to the diversity of the country’s sporting portfolio.”
Apart from the golf competition, there will be a number of activities leading up to the event that will help to create a lasting legacy for women’s golf in Qatar.
Fahad Nasser Al Naimi, General Secretary of the Qatar Golf Association, General Coordinator of the Men’s European Tour Event the Qatar Masters has spoken of his delight at hosting the new event and hailed the tournament as a huge boost for women’s sports participation in the country.
“The Qatar Golf Association is very proud to host the Ladies European Tour with the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open in Doha. This will be one of the most important international women’s golf tournaments, watched by more than 300 million viewers worldwide in 127 countries. This will cement Qatar’s position as a leading golf destination whilst also fostering participation and growing the success of our own players. We are pleased to be cooperating with the LET.”
Mohammed Faisal Al Naimi, Executive Director of the Qatar Golf Association, Head of Media for the Men’s European Tour Event, the Qatar Masters added: “I’m extremely proud to announce the hosting of the Qatar Ladies Open which will play a great role in developing the game of golf in the region and most importantly it would be in line with our Qatar National Vision 2030.”
Doha Golf Club, which also hosts the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on the men’s European Tour, expects to see a surge in interest from Emirati women and General Manager Gary McGlinchey said: “Doha Golf Club is extremely excited to welcome the Ladies European Tour to Doha.  We believe this event will inspire more female participation and provide inspiration to the juniors to pursue this game as a career.”
The announcement comes quickly after the establishment of a new LET event in Abu Dhabi, where the fresh and attractive sport will also be used to help inspire and empower local women. It will also provide the perfect platform to celebrate the achievements of the players in the Rio Olympic Games.
About the Ladies European Tour:
With 315 world-class players from 42 different countries who inspire fans at more than 20 golf tournaments on five continents, the Ladies European Tour is truly global and showcases each country it visits to a global audience, driving inbound tourism with increased television coverage and live broadcasts. At each event, it’s not just about the swing – it’s about a day that goes with a swing. A big day out with fun entertainment and a festival atmosphere set in beautiful scenery.  We aim to captivate and excite, but we don’t just appear and leave – we aim to create a legacy. We are ‘more than just a Golf Tour.” With the Olympic Games on the horizon, the Tour has taken on special significance for players from a multitude of countries who aim to qualify when golf returns to the programme this summer after a 112-year absence. More information: Twitter: @LETgolf
About Doha Golf Club:
Doha Golf Club boasts an 18-hole Championship Course, a 9-hole Academy Course, an enormous driving range and putting green, eight artificial lakes, graceful landscaping and a beautiful clubhouse designed in   old traditional Arabic style, which has been located at one of the highest points on the course giving it a magnificent prominence. The Championship Course is a tough course from the back tees and offers many strategic and heroic holes where the scratch golfer can test his skills. The course has been designed with two starting and finishing holes which maximises playing flexibility and the number of daily rounds. The unusual 150 hectare site has been enhanced by emphasizing the natural attributes and features. We have created lakes which will double as obstacles and aesthetic features. We have planted about 5000 shrubs, 6000 trees, 10 000 cacti imported from Arizona which will emphasize the nature of the rugged surroundings.
The Academy Course is less demanding and can be played by beginners, ladies and those who want to play a quick nine holes. The fairways are larger, the holes are shorter with less hazards and generally   the course will allow the not-so proficient golfer to enjoy the game and the good golfer will have the opportunity to have an enjoyable round during a short break from the office.
Image caption:

From left: Mohammed Faisal Al Naimi, Executive Director of the Qatar Golf Association, Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh and Fahad Nasser Al Naimi, General Secretary of the Qatar Golf Association launch the 2016 Qatar Ladies Masters.