Golf // Where to hit the 'fairways' and play outdoor mini-golf in Dubai in 2020 // UAE
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Dubai is a golfing wonderland, but you don’t have to be a great player to enjoy the sport in the city…
When I learnt that the 21st September is International Mini-Golf Day, well, there was only one thing for it! My mind instantly turned to where you could play outdoor mini-golf in Dubai in 2020.
Dubai is a golfing paradise
There are numerous world-class golf courses that attract players from all over the world, and even two of the world’s most well known tournaments take place in the city.
The European Tour’s prestigious Dubai Desert Classic has been played in Dubai since 1989 and the end of season finale, the DP World Tour Championship takes place at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates every November.
So, full golf is sorted in Dubai and most golfers in the city know exactly where to play.
But mini-golf, that’s a different story. It seems to have been lost in the consciousness of most, but that shouldn’t be the case.
The game provides a great hour of fun, brilliant for kids to get into the game and lends itself well for plenty of laughs.
So, with all that in mind, I set out to find where you can play mini-golf in Dubai in 2020.
I knew of four that were in operation a few years ago, but what about present day.
The history of mini-golf
Mini-golf was first invented in the 19th century and it was designed as a way to enable women to play golf.
Back then, it was frowned upon for women to raise a golf club above their shoulder height and unless you are delicately chipping onto the green, or putting, not being able to raise a club above shoulder height is going to restrict anyone’s game on a full 18-hole course.
The first mini-golf course was opened at St Andrews in Scotland in 1867 by the St Andrews Ladies Putting Club.
Throughout the rest of the 19th century the miniature version of the game remained a relative secret globally, until the turn of the century when it started to catch on.
In the United States, the game took off with New York City leading the way. With so many high rises buildings; courses were set up on the rooftops across the city. America fell in love with mini-golf and after the First World War, it was all the craze.
Since those days, mini-golf has remained a popular source of fun with courses always found around many coastal towns and holiday hotspots, especially in the UK.
Cruise ships too have taken to the game, providing courses on the decks of huge ships around the world and here in Dubai, it is no different.
So, here is where you can play in Dubai.
Where to play outdoor mini-golf in Dubai
A few years ago I was aware of at least four outdoor mini-golf courses.
However, the ones at Creek Park and JLT appear to be no more. So the below two are the only places you can actually play in outdoors Dubai.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
For me, this is the best outdoor mini-golf course in Dubai. It’s less ‘crazy golf’ and more a like for like miniature version of the game.
With undulating fairways, bunkers, ridges, rough patches and quick greens, your putter will be working hard!
It’s situated in a flurry of palm trees next to the full driving range so you’ll be in a golfing paradise.
A good option for food and drinks after your hard round of golf is Boardwalk, where in the winter you can sit on the terrace perched over Dubai Creek looking back towards the Dubai skyline.
Jebel Ali Beach Resort
*Only available to hotel guests
There was a time anyone could play this mini-golf course, even if you weren’t staying at the hotel but nowadays it is only available for hotel guests or day guests, although please note the latter is currently not an option whilst the world works its way through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Still, after a round here, you’ll need a night of relaxation so booking a night at the hotel is not a bad option! All serious golfers head back to a hotel after a round, don't forget.
The course is much more the classic ‘crazy’ style mini-golf many of familiar with. Sharp corners, balls rebounding off walls, jumps to make etc, you get it.
It is also located right on the beach, so you get pretty strong winds coming in from the coast. It’s like a Links course!
It’s great fun, and refreshments afterwards are a plenty as you’ll be staying at the hotel.
And that’s it for outdoor options. I feel like Dubai should have more, and it once did, but at least we still have a couple to choose from, so pick your course, grab a putter and hit the fairways!
*There are two other mini-golf experiences to be had in Dubai, both indoor and glow in the dark courses. They are found at Wafi Mall and JBR.