TIGER MOVES TO HSBC’S ABU DHABI BEAT
24 - January 2012
Golfing Giants Get Traditional With Emirati Ayala Dance
Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tuesday 24th January, 2012: He’s been in Abu Dhabi for less than 24 hours, but Tiger Woods - one of the headline attractions at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which starts tomorrow (Thursday 26 January) – wowed onlookers at Abu Dhabi Golf Club today as he shook off the trans-Atlantic cobwebs and ‘moved’ to the UAE capital’s distinctive traditional beat.
Abu Dhabi debutant, Woods, an eye-catching contender in what is the strongest field ever assembled at a Middle East tournament, was joined by world numbers two and three, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, for an impromptu celebration of traditional Emirati ayala(celebration) dancing on his first National Course appearance.
“That was pretty special,” said Woods, a 14-time Major winner. “It’s my first time in Abu Dhabi and although as golfers we are used to travelling all over the world, we don’t usually get welcomes like that. It’s always fantastic to experience new cultures and traditions and I really got into the ayala beat; I’m not sure the canes would be too good on the putting greens this week though.”
The ayala dance celebration officially ushered in the seventh annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which will see triple and defending champion, Martin Kaymer, lock horns with Woods, Westwood and McIlroy, as well as world number one, Luke Donald, in the hunt for the Falcon trophy. Reigning Major champions, Charl Schwartzel (US Masters) and Darren Clarke (The Open), Australian hot-shot, Jason Day, Korea’s top ranked player, KJ Choi, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington are also in the star studded line-up.
About ADTA: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has wide ranging responsibilities for managing and assisting the development of the emirate's tourism industry and the marketing and promotion of the emirate as a world-class destination of distinction. Its responsibilities include; destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification. A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate's hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.
About HSBC: HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 89 million customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking & Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,716bn at 30 September 2011, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
HSBC in the MENA Region
HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with operations in 14 countries. HSBC has branches and offices in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Algeria and the Palestinian Autonomous Area. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 40% shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 60% shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited for wholesale and investment banking in the Kingdom. In Iraq, HSBC holds a majority shareholding in Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank. HSBC also maintains a representative office in Libya.
This presence, the widest coverage of any bank in the region, comprises some 285 branches and offices, and around 12,000 people. In the full year 2010, HSBC made a profit before tax of $892 million in the MENA region.
HSBC Golf Sponsorships
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite. In addition to its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore as well as acting as a Patron of the Open Championship, HSBC has expanded its portfolio to include both the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and, as golf returns to the Olympic Games for Rio 2016, the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup, the nation’s one genuinely global golf event.
However, underpinning those blue-riband events is a longer-term goal to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. The world’s local bank is supporting the HSBC China Junior Golf Program - a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. This includes the HSBC-sponsored China National Junior Team, the HSBC China Junior Open and the HSBC National Junior Golf Championship: a year-long series of tournaments designed to give China’s elite junior golfers the competitive platform they need to develop their game.
In Asia HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events and the HSBC Champions is the continent’s first World Golf Championships event and the region’s leading men’s tournament. Last year the then world-number-one Tiger Woods described it as “The crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.” Since its inception in 2005 the event has attracted world-class fields and its last two winners, in the form of Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, have highlighted its stature. Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington revealed that he believed creating the HSBC Champions was “a turning point for Asian golf”.
For more details on HSBC's golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com
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