Date: Wed 18 May 2011

An overview of golf in the Gulf Cooperation Council

A new KPMG report provides an overview of the golf market in the GCC and its future prospects, supported by a survey of local golf course owners and operators about their operational performance.

The survey confirms that the GCC region still proves to be the highest performing region in all of Europe, the Middle East and Africa from a golf course revenue perspective. Local golf course operators have pointed out that demand for golf in the GCC continues to outstrip supply during the peak seasons and golf is starting to establish itself as a major pastime albeit mainly for the expatriate population.

KPMG Report 'An overview of golf in the GCC'

The key findings of this study include:

  • GCC countries are still the highest performers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in terms of average revenues achieved (over US$8.5 million) with, on average, over 30,000 rounds played at 18-hole golf courses. Prices in the region are among the highest in the world, with annual dues averaging US$ 6,400 and peak-season green fees averaging US$179.
  • Only half of the total revenues are made up of membership and green fees while food and beverage facilities contribute significantly to the total golf course income.
  • Staff costs account for more than 40% of the total operating costs, due to the high staffing levels of facilities with an average of 150-200 full-time employees.
  • Only half of the participating golf courses reported a positive gross operating profit, recording an average GOP of US$2 million which equates to a 15% profit margin.
  • With several developments currently in place and with programs being introduced to encourage participation in the game, the future of golf in the GCC still provides plenty of space for growth.

Golf Course Design
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