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Tiger Woods course – down but not out
A UK paper seems ready to write-off the infamous golfer’s Dubai project, but like so much in Dubai, it ain’t over til it’s over.
November 28, 2010 12:53 by Samuel Potter
Consumed with their own countries’ significant financial peril, Western papers seem to have left the UAE (and Dubai in particular) alone of late. With the likes of Ireland, Porutgal, Italy, Spain, and Belgium all sliding towards crisis, going after Dubai must not offer the schadenfreude it once did.
But the British press still manages to give out the occasional kick. Sunday’s Observer found its way to a bit of Dubai bashing as it revisited the Tiger Woods golf course project in the Emirate. In the same article, of course, the journo also got in plenty of Woods bashing – a double-whammy from a content point of view, the editor must have given him a firm pat on the back.
According to the article, the Tiger Woods Dubai project is a $1.1 billion mirage in the desert. “Like so much else in post-boom Dubai, the [main builing] is a facade, propped up by wooden beams. Behind it lies a collection of portable cabins that in the glory days of the economic boom served as a sales office. These days the salesmen have gone, to be replaced by a handful of cleaners and maintenance staff trying to keep alive what is left of the $1.1bn fantasy.”
Ouch. The writer argues that, one year on from the infamous car crash that unraveled Tiger’s marriage and with it a good deal of his sponsorship relationships, not to mention his golfing performance, the Tiger Woods Dubai project is the perfect measure of the golfer’s fall from grace.
Since his last visit in the week before his crash, “virtually nothing has changed.” Like so many big projects in Dubai, construction is apparently on hold. The writer goes on to chart Woods’ downfall and changing financial circumstance, while speculating that the project will be abandoned – effectively returned to nature.
I don’t buy it. Yes, the project has been on hold. Yes, Tiger Woods has suffered a commercial nightmare these past 12 months. But the Tiger Woods Dubai is not about flogging a hundred thousand products; this is a golf resort, an elite venue for millionaires and billionaires. They don’t care about Tiger Woods’ infidelities or his marriage, they simply care that the course has been designed by the best in the world and that they get to play on it.
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