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Reply to topic Race To Dubai Chapter III (2013) - Apple Vacations

Race To Dubai Chapter III (2013) - Apple Vacations
gbrian
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Race To Dubai Chapter III (2013) by Apple Vacations



Recently I have the opportunity traveling to Dubai, a trip made possible by Apple Vacations & Conventions Sdn Bhd.

It was my very first trip to Middle East country and first experience in desert. Thanks Apple Vacations!
The trip was in conjunction with ‘Race To Dubai – Chapter III’ from 16th to 20th November 2013, with a total of 20 enthusiastic golfers.

Best time to visit Dubai is from November to February (winter season) when the temperatures are in between 25-15ºC keeping the evenings and nights chill, which is good time for golf too. I will put it somehow it feels like golfing in Bukit Tinggi (for those who played there before).


DAY 1
Upon touchdown, we were transferred to hotel for check in and get ourselves prepared for Desert Safari Tour. It is advisable to wear sandal and short pants as the sand is so fine and it’s a must for you to step your feet onto the desert. Do not worry, the sand is cold, not exactly as cold as snow, but it is consider colder than your nearest beach (I’m referring to tropical beach). Riding on 4WD and raging through the desert, it is equivalent to roller coaster but on sand dunes. You won’t know when the next slope is.



They don’t call it Dune Bashing for no-reason. Bear in mind, DO NOT fill up your stomach before the ride. Else you might end up paying AED500 to clean up the mess. All participants were having fun, except 1 golfer down. And it is not me of course!



Viewing sunset from the desert was an experience one must have, at least once in your life.



After the Desert Safari Tour, we were hosted with Arabian BBQ dinner right in the desert. An experience not to be missed. Apart from marvellous BBQ food, one must try Arabic coffee, Gahwa (although it tastes more like tea to me). During the dinner, we were entertained with the infamous Tanoura and Belly dancing. You can try out shisha (Hubbllee Bubblee) and their traditional costume too. And there is also camel ride, which I skipped as the queue is too long and I was too hungry after the safari tour.


The infamous Tanoura dance with lights (top) and the Belly dancing.

We were transferred back to hotel after dinner and called it for a night. Well, not me and 2 friends of mine. We ventured out to look for a place to drink and chill out as our hotel is ‘Halal’ hotel where no alcoholic drinks served. And the bellboy was kind enough to show us another hotel with bar after seeing our face with ‘I need DRINKS’ look. A little note, we (I mean me and the other 2 friends) need drinks to get ourselves a bit drunk and sleep early as the time zone different is 4 hours from Malaysia. It is important for us to sleep well and get our body adjusted to local time (I know it’s an excuse but it’s a good excuse, agree?).


DAY 2
As part of the itinerary, we visited and watched DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estate, where Henrik Stenson won the event and Road to Dubai 2013 title, 1st man on earth to won both season long event in the same year; FedEx Cup and Road to Dubai. The weather was perfect.

It was my first event I attended as a spectator, rather than as a media. The feeling is nice, as you don’t really have to work but walk around, chilling out every other hole with some drinks. Almost like a picnic feel.



We were impressed with the tournament setup, a real world class. By the way, something that really surprise us was they serve pork (non-halal) apart from alcohol drinks during the tournament. Seriously, in UAE. Who would have thought that (well, at least me)? Sorry, it was my first ever trip to middle east country. And we couldn’t help but to notice that no purchase of alcohol allowed from 12.00pm to 12.15pm as to respect their daily prayers schedule. The level of tolerance and understanding each other need is amazing.


DAY 3


After DP World Tour Championship concluded, it’s our turn to compete in ‘Race To Dubai – Chapter III’ by Apple Vacations. Day 1 tournament was held at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. Each golfer was given a pitch mark repairer to repair your own ball mark on the green.


Every golfer will get this pitch mark repairer from the club.

Basically, there’s no caddie there. As such, you need to rake your bunker, look for your own ball and clean your own club. As for yardage and pin positioning, we rely on the GPS system in their buggy where you can drive your buggy up to your ball to gauge the distance. Pin positioning is updated on daily basis to my surprise. The GPS display will show each hole layout and the hazards. This is definitely a plus point if you really know your club distance well.



The par 71 course that measures 6,967 yards is a memorable journey from the 1st tee to the 18th green. The superbly manicured fairways are undulating, demarcated by mounds, dates and palm trees and most other times by WATER! Apart from the Creek, which comes into play on at least four holes, several artificial lakes add to the beauty and difficulty of various other holes. It’s one of the most scenic golf courses in the city I’ve ever played.




DAY 4


Last day and last round of golf to determine ‘Race To Dubai – Chapter III’ winner. Played at Emirates Golf Club, Faldo Course, which is the second championship golf course (first championship course is Majlis Course). Faldo Course opened in 1996, was named ‘The Wadi’, taken from the Arabic word for ‘valley’. Redesigned in 2005 by golf legend and six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo, the course now combines a stunning visual design with nuances and challenges of any championship course in just the right measure. The new course was re-named to ‘The Faldo’ when it re-opened in October 2006. A par-72, the course has proved to be as popular as its predecessor and lures players to challenge of its 7,384 yards.


Champion, Vivien Cheng receiving her trophy.

After 2 rounds of golf, Vivien Cheng (beating all the male golfers) emerged as Champion of Race To Dubai Chapter III and won herself a return ticket to Dubai, courtesy of Emirates. And fortunate enough we have a male golfer won Grand Lucky draws (return ticket to Dubai), Max Ooi. At least we do have male representative. Sorry guys, I’ve tried my best, but I did won a lucky draw prize too, courtesy of Emirates. A cap and a shirt, limited edition ok!



A trip well organised by Apple Vacations. I sincerely thanks to Ms. Rae Yap (tour leader) and Ms. Ellyza, who flew in the final day just to be with us. Imagine this, 7 hours flight (one-way), 5 hours of golf, 6 hours sight-seeing before flight and another 7 hours flight back to Malaysia. She must be crazy, but this is the kind of work commitment we respect! And Ms. Rae Yap, our ever cheerful tour leader who work non-stop just to make sure everything in order and make our trip pleasant, and memorable one.




We did have a blast in Dubai. It’s not about Dubai, sometime (if not most), the tour participants and travel company makes the different. Enough of writing, picture paint thousand words as I always believe. Do take some time off to browse through our pictures during our stay in Dubai and judge yourself.

Hit the link below for more photos:
https://plus.google.com/photos/102398462215882189989/albums/5952726200785705313


Last edited by gbrian on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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jediknight61
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An excellent account of the event and organisers! Sounds like something that my Mrs and I should join in the future. Thank you!
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azri
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Excellent! Looks fun! Best testimony is from satisfied customers and by the look of it seems like everyone had a great time.
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kennethtai
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Envy... super nice trip.. Very Happy
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Race To Dubai Chapter III (2013) - Apple Vacations
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