Tiger Woods' Dubai partnership is dissolved

Tiger Woods golf course Dubai
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Only a few holes of the Tiger Woods-designed golf course in Dubai have been completed.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | 4:12 p.m.

Construction on the golf course in Dubai that Tiger Woods designed was stopped almost before it started a few years ago. And now comes word that Woods' partnership with the project's owner, Dubai Holding, has been formally dissolved.

Dubai Properties Group, a division of Dubai Holding, said the Al Ruwaya Golf Course project would ''continue to be monitored and a decision will be made in the future when to restart the project,'' according to ArabianBusiness.com. Woods, however, is no longer connected to the development.

When it was announced back in 2006, the development was to include a championship golf course surrounded by residential real estate – including villas, mansions and sheik-styled palaces – a hotel, golf academy and other amenities. The $1.1 billion project was originally scheduled to open in 2009. According to reports, Woods was paid $55.4 million in two installments to design the course and promote the resort around the time he signed onto the project.

Work began on the course after a lengthy delay, but was halted after only a few holes were shaped. The developer, part of a conglomerate controlled by Dubai's debt-squeezed rulers, said ''market conditions'' were behind the decision to suspend construction, and that they hoped to resume work at some point.

The course was to have been part of a larger leisure and living master planned community, which also largely came to a standstill after Dubai's fiscal crunch. An 18-hole course designed by Colin Montgomerie opened in Dubai in 2006, and another by Ernie Els opened in 2008.

The website for Tiger Woods Design has a page dedicated to the Al Ruwaya project, which says that Woods' vision ''is to transform the blank canvas into a unique golf course that rivals any in the world.'' Woods envisioned Al Ruwaya as ''a respite from the desert and the pace of the city'' and a place that ''will welcome all cultures, all backgrounds and skill levels from new to experienced golfers.''

According to Tiger Woods Design, Woods remains involved in design projects in western North Carolina and both Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.