NEOM tees up Sindalah’s 9-hole golf offering in new partnership

Sindalah will offer a unique experience for all visitors, from amateurs to professionals. Credit: @NEOMSindalah
Sindalah will offer a unique experience for all visitors, from amateurs to professionals. Credit: @NEOMSindalah
Short Url
Updated 10 August 2023
Follow

NEOM tees up Sindalah’s 9-hole golf offering in new partnership

Sindalah will offer a unique experience for all visitors, from amateurs to professionals. Credit: @NEOMSindalah
  • Island course plans to provide a unique experience for visitors

NEOM has announced a partnership with IMG Golf Course Services to open a nine-hole beachfront facility on Sindalah island.

IMG Golf Course Services will provide pre-opening, marketing, and management services to the club at Sindalah, which will be a year-round, exclusive venue.

Sindalah will offer a unique experience for all visitors, from amateurs and young players to experienced enthusiasts and golfing professionals.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course will boast nine holes and a 280-meter driving range and golf practice suites fitted with state-of-the-art ball tracking technology and statistics feedback. 

The course is also set to be GEO certified and will demonstrate the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility.

The IMG Golf Course Services team will manage the onsite sports club, which will offer multiple membership options for visitors to enjoy the very best facilities, equipment, and services, including a luxurious gym, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a spa, and sports courts.

The Sindalah Golf Academy will further complement facilities with multiple performance studios offering the latest in technology.

The island, which opens in the first quarter of 2024, will be the first iteration of NEOM to be unveiled to the world and will offer a taste of the vision that will come to life in the coming years with The Line, Oxagon, and Trojena.

Antoni Vives, chief urban development and islands officer at NEOM, said: “Sindalah will be the first physical showcase of NEOM to open to the world and will become a new and exotic golfing destination like no other.”

Russell Hannah, vice president at IMG Golf Course Services, said: “Their vision for this stunning new destination makes it exactly the sort of project which will benefit from IMG’s international experience and resources.”

Sindalah will also offer dining experiences with restaurants boasting global Michelin-starred chefs, an innovative retail offering, and an ultra-prime marina with 86 berths for yachts up to 50 meters and additional serviced offshore buoys for superyachts up to 180 meters.

The location will also be home to a beach club hosted by top global entertainment icons, a Marine Activities Centre facilitating adventures above and below the sea, and three luxury hotels.

The island is being developed sustainably, with its design helmed by Italy’s Luca Dini Design & Architecture and inspired by the coral reefs and waterscapes of the Red Sea.


Table-topping Multan round off home leg of PSL by handing Quetta first loss

Table-topping Multan round off home leg of PSL by handing Quetta first loss
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Table-topping Multan round off home leg of PSL by handing Quetta first loss

Table-topping Multan round off home leg of PSL by handing Quetta first loss

MULTAN: Table-topping Multan Sultans rounded off their home leg of the Pakistan Super League by handing Quetta Gladiators a first defeat on Sunday.
Half centuries by Reeza Hendricks (72) and captain Mohammad Rizwan (51) provided Multan with a strong total of 180-4 with Tayyab Tahir also contributing a meaningful 35 off 22 balls in his first game of the season after Dawid Malan fell ill.
Quetta failed to capitalize on good starts and were restricted to 167-9 as fast bowlers Mohammad Ali (3-19) and David Willey (3-37) led Multan to a convincing 13-run win.
Ali, who thrived with both the new and old balls, is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 13.
Multan’s four wins in five home games gave last year’s finalist eight points while Quetta, who won three successive games before Sunday’s loss, are second with six points. Multan’s only setback to date came at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi.
“You can’t get satisfied because it will be a different challenge when we play our five away games,” Rizwan said.
Ali hit the top of Jason Roy’s (12) off stump in his second over as the Englishman exposed his stumps while attempting a big shot. Willey also struck inside the power play when he had Saud Shakeel (24) caught at long-on before captain Rilee Rossouw (30) and young Pakistan batting sensation Khawaja Nafay (36) dragged Quetta back into the game.
Rossouw fell to a brilliant low catch by Khushdil Shah in the covers that ended a threatening 62-run stand and Ali had Nafay caught off a slower ball in his return spell as Quetta’s chase got derailed after it slipped to 124-5 in the 15th over.
Willey plucked a brilliant skier off his own bowling to dismiss Sherfane Rutherford and Ali capped another impressive day by having Mohammad Amir clean bowled off a full-pitched delivery.
Earlier, after being sent in to bat, Hendricks featured in two solid partnerships and scored his third half century of the season in five games.
Hendricks added 79 runs with Rizwan for the second wicket and contributed a further 77 with Tahir by counterattacking pacers Amir (2-46) and Mohammad Wasim (0-41) in the death overs.
Rizwan was dismissed soon after completing his half century when he holed out at deep mid-wicket. Hendricks’ robust 47-ball knock that featured four sixes and seven fours ended in the last over when he was caught in the deep while going for a big shot against Amir.


Saudi boxing champions set to shine at Arab Rising Stars 3 in Abu Dhabi

Emirati boxer Fahad Al-Baloushi celebrates his victory. supplied
Emirati boxer Fahad Al-Baloushi celebrates his victory. supplied
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Saudi boxing champions set to shine at Arab Rising Stars 3 in Abu Dhabi

Emirati boxer Fahad Al-Baloushi celebrates his victory. supplied
  • The event’s main highlight is a heavyweight showdown between Moroccan Jawad Belmehdi and the undefeated Ghanaian Alfred Lamptey

Riyadh: Saudi boxing champions are gearing up to make their mark at the highly anticipated Arab Rising Stars 3 boxing event, slated to kick off on March 2 in Abu Dhabi.

The tournament, held at Yas Links Abu Dhabi Golf Club, is being promoted by AAM Seddiqi Sports in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi.

With a focus on showcasing Arab boxers to a global audience, the event’s main highlight is a heavyweight showdown between Moroccan Jawad Belmehdi and the undefeated Ghanaian Alfred Lamptey.

Alongside top-tier boxers from Iraq and Egypt, elite Saudi fighters will elevate the competition, joined by three Emirati boxers including the acclaimed Fahad Al-Baloushi, boasting the most professional fights for an Emirati boxer, as well as promising talents Sultan Al-Nuaimi and Fahd Khouri.

Through this collaboration, the third edition aims to celebrate the skills and determination of Arab boxers, providing them with invaluable professional opportunities and fostering the growth of boxing culture both locally and internationally.

Broadcasting live on DAZN, ESPN Knockout, and Abu Dhabi Sports TV, the event promises an electrifying showcase of talent starting at 8 p.m. UAEST on Saturday.


Renan Ferreira dominates Ryan Bader in Riyadh to set up Ngannou showdown

Renan Ferreira dominates Ryan Bader in Riyadh to set up Ngannou showdown
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Renan Ferreira dominates Ryan Bader in Riyadh to set up Ngannou showdown

Renan Ferreira dominates Ryan Bader in Riyadh to set up Ngannou showdown
  • Johnny Eblen, Jason Jackson, AJ McKee also victorious in inaugural PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions event
  • Abdullah Al-Qahtani, the first fighter to represent Saudi Arabia in the PFL, defeated India’s Edukondal Rao in featherweight contest

RIYADH: Renan Ferreira defeated Ryan Bader in the main fight of the evening as the Professional Fighters League staged the first-ever MMA event in Saudi Arabia,  PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

The 11-fight card featured four bouts for the newly minted Super Belt, with additional action from the biggest names in combat sports taking place inside the PFL SmartCage.

In the highly anticipated main event, 2023 PFL heavyweight Ferreira seized the throne, scoring a TKO of Bellator heavyweight Champion Bader 21 seconds into round one. Ferreira hoisted his Super Belt flanked by boxing icon Mike Tyson, and is now set to face combat sports superstar Francis “The Predator” Ngannou, who will make his PFL debut when they meet.

In the co-main event of the evening, 2023 PFL Light Heavyweight Champion Impa Kasanganay challenged undefeated Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen. The back-and-forth affair went the three-round distance, with Eblen taking the victory via narrow split decision and a Super Belt.

“Tonight the Professional Fighters League and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were at the center of the MMA world,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray.

“PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions was the first-ever PFL PPV Super Fight global event and delivered electrifying action from the best fighters in MMA. The PFL remains committed to delivering premium MMA experiences to our fans around the globe.”

In the fourth fight of the PPV main card, two-time PFL welterweight champion Ray Cooper III defeated current Bellator welterweight champion Jason Jackson via a second-round TKO to claim the Super Belt while improving his career record to 18-4.

The 2021 PFL heavyweight champion Bruno Cappelozza and former Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov went toe-to-toe in a heavyweight bout, with the former coming out on top to take his first Super Belt in the process.

Also on the main card, Yoel Romero defeated Thiago Santos in a light heavyweight matchup via a unanimous decision victory.

The main PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions action began with a lightweight affair which saw former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee defeat PFL lightweight runner-up Clay Collard after one minute of action.

Henry Corrales and Aaron Pico went toe-to-toe in a lightweight rematch which closed out the early card. Corrales was no match for the offensive onslaught of Pico, who came out with a flurry of elbow strikes. Pico won his third consecutive bout with an opening round TKO.

In lightweight action, Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, stepped into the PFL SmartCage for the first time as a professional against Argentina’s Emmanuel Palacio and proceeded to dominate his opponent with his grappling to claim a unanimous decision win.

Further action on the early card featured the return of two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields, who weathered the early submission attempts from the powerful Kelsey De Santis to win a closely contested split decision.

Abdullah Al-Qahtani, the first fighter to represent Saudi Arabia in the PFL, stepped back into the PFL SmartCage to face Edukondal Rao in a featherweight contest. Al-Qahtani stopped Rao by TKO in the third round of a fight that featured exciting stand-up exchanges.

Kicking off the action in the early card, Saudi Arabia’s Malik Basahel defeated Brazil’s Vinicius Pereira via unanimous decision in an amateur flyweight showcase bout. Basahel’s victory improves his amateur record to 18-2-1.

Main card results:

Renan Ferreira (13-3) def. Ryan Bader (31-8) via 1st round TKO (:21)

Johnny Eblen (15-0) def. Impa Kasanganay (15-4) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jason Jackson (18-4) def. Ray Cooper III (25-10-1) via 2nd round TKO (:23)

Vadim Nemkov (18-2) def. Bruno Cappelozza (15-7) via 2nd round submission (2:13)

Yoel Romero (16-7) def. Thiago Santos (22-11) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

AJ McKee (22-1) def. Clay Collard (24-12) via 1st round submission (1:10)

Early Card Results:

Aaron Pico (13-4) def. Henry Corrales (21-8) via 1st round TKO (4:53)

Biaggio Ali Walsh (1-0) def. Emmanuel Palacio (1-1) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Claressa Shields (2-1) def. Kelsey De Santis (1-3) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Abdullah Al-Qahtani (8-1) def. Edukondal Rao (4-2) via 3rd round TKO (0:23)

Malik Basahel (18-2-1 AM.) def. Vinicius Pereira (5-1 AM.) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)


Professional Fighters League extends global reach with launch of PFL MENA after inaugural Riyadh event

Professional Fighters League extends global reach with launch of PFL MENA after inaugural Riyadh event
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Professional Fighters League extends global reach with launch of PFL MENA after inaugural Riyadh event

Professional Fighters League extends global reach with launch of PFL MENA after inaugural Riyadh event
  • Top MMA fighters from the region will compete in a sport-season format across 4 live events in the Middle East starting in April

RIYADH: The Professional Fighters League has announced the launch of PFL MENA, the promotion’s second international league, which will make its debut in April 2024.

The official announcement was made following the PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions event in the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, the first-ever MMA event in Saudi Arabia.

PFL MENA will introduce a thrilling four-event sport-season format featuring the region’s top fighters and a groundbreaking initiative with PIF-owned SRJ Sports Investments. The full roster of the league will be revealed in March.

CEO of SRJ Sports Investment, Danny Townsend, said: “The launch of the PFL MENA League is another incredible milestone for the sport of MMA, and one we are delighted to play a role in. Saudi Arabia is quickly emerging as the international home of combat sports; bringing world-class talent here and to the wider MENA region remains at the core of SRJ’s investment mandate.

“With the launch of a new PFL MENA League, we’re backing the development of the region’s exceptional talent, helping provide new pathways to the top. We are confident that investments like these will continue inspiring even more young people to take up sport and help grow the MMA fanbase on a global scale.”

PFL CEO Peter Murray announced the brand’s second international league with partners SRJ.

“Driven by the strategic importance of mixed martial arts in burgeoning markets, SRJ’s investment underscores the immense potential of the sport in the region,” he said. “PFL MENA expands the PFL brand and MMA footprint in the Middle East bringing events to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

“We’re very excited to be launching PFL MENA and providing up-and-coming athletes from The Middle East a global platform for them to be able to showcase their skills and potentially compete for a life-changing opportunity at a PFL Championship and a million-dollar purse,” Murray added.

Jerome Mazet, general manager of PFL MENA, said: “Through PFL MENA, we hope to be able to not only find and develop the next Middle Eastern MMA star, but we also want to be able to put the spotlight on MMA in the region and give it the attention and the exposure that it deserves.”

Ahead of the launch of PFL MENA, the PFL organized the first-ever international MMA event in Riyadh — PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions — which featured world champions and some of the biggest names in combat sports.

To further highlight the launch of the PFL’s newest international league, selected fighters from the Middle East were in attendance in Riyadh, including Ahmed Amir, Mostafa Rashed Neda, Jarrah Al-Silawi, Abdullah Saleem, and Omar El-Dafrawy.

Abdullah Al-Qahtani, the first fighter to represent Saudi Arabia in the PFL, defeated India’s Edukondal Rao in a featherweight contest on the night.

The inaugural PFL MENA season will feature 32 fighters competing across four weight classes in a sports-season format, with a regular season, playoffs, and championship.

The league will also host showcase fights to develop local and regional talents, such as Hattan Alsaif, the first female fighter from Saudi Arabia to sign a contract with a major global MMA promotion. She will be making her amateur PFL debut in showcase bouts on the PFL MENA cards.


Jasmine Paolini ends Anna Kalinskaya fairytale to win Dubai Tennis Championship

Jasmine Paolini ends Anna Kalinskaya fairytale to win Dubai Tennis Championship
Updated 25 February 2024
Follow

Jasmine Paolini ends Anna Kalinskaya fairytale to win Dubai Tennis Championship

Jasmine Paolini ends Anna Kalinskaya fairytale to win Dubai Tennis Championship
  • Italian battles back from a set and a break down to beat the Russian qualifier and claim her first WTA 1000 title

DUBAI: Italian Jasmine Paolini battled back from a set and a break down in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to win 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, secure her first WTA 1000 title, and spoil qualifier Anna Kalinskaya’s fairytale week.

Kalinskaya had already written her name into the history books, beating world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the semifinals on Friday to become the first qualifier to reach the Championship match at the Dubai Tennis Stadium. And the 25-year-old looked on course to go one step further when she took the first set under the lights and broke Paolini in the first game of the second set.

Paolini, however, had been in the same position earlier in the week. In her opening match of the tournament against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia on Sunday, she also lost the opening set and opening game of the second, before rallying back strongly to close out the win. And against Kalinskaya, she repeated the trick.

“It’s so special; I’m really happy and really surprised — I don’t know what to say,” an emotional, smiling Paolini said on court after securing the biggest win of her career.

“I’m just happy that I believed I could win every match. I remember my first match this week: It was second set, I’d lost the first and was a break down, yet now I’m here winning the title. It’s unbelievable.”

Speaking directly to the vocal fans who increasingly cheered for her throughout the match, Paolini added: “It’s great to play in front of so many people — you are crazy, guys. Thank you very much for supporting me.”

Qualifier Kalinskaya had produced some of the biggest shocks of the week as the world No.40 overcame 2022 winner Jelena Ostapenko in the Round of 16, edged world No.3 Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals and beat four-time Grand Slam winner Swiatek in straight sets. And as a capacity crowd filed into their seats to watch two players contesting their first WTA 1000 final, it was Kalinskaya — making her Main Draw debut in Dubai this week after coming through two rounds of qualifying — who settled first, breaking a nervous Paolini in the first game.

The Italian, ranked No.26 in the world, gradually grew into the match, breaking back in the fourth to take the set to 2-2 before the pair, who met last month at the Australian Open with Kalinskaya coming out on top, exchanged successive breaks. In the ninth game, Kalinskaya broke serve once more to take a 5-4 lead and after serving her first ace of the match — a 172 kph thunderbolt — she served out for the first set.

The second set started similar to the first, with Kalinskaya breaking in the first game with a thunderous winner. Yet once more she let her lead slip, this time in the sixth. And with the crowd baying for a third set, Paolini found herself in the ascendancy, pulling her opponent around the court, forcing errors, and eventually breaking in the 12th to take the set 7-5.

Kalinskaya took the lead once more in the third set, but again failed to pull away, seeing her own service game broken immediately by a fired up Paolini. Undeterred, the qualifier broke again to take the outright lead and this time held it for much of the deciding set. Yet, serving for the championship, Kalinskaya’s game evaporated as she double-faulted, started overcooking forehands, and found the net with an unnecessary drop shot that allowed Paolini to stay in the match with a crucial break.

After serving for the match, Kalinskaya found herself needing to break her opponent, but Paolini was unaccommodating, showing ferocity to close out the match and take her first title since October and first above WTA 250 level. The win is expected to project her into the top 15 when the WTA’s latest rankings are released next week.

“I have to say at the end of the match maybe she missed some balls that she never missed all the match,” Paolini said. “It’s tough; tennis is tough mentally. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I’m happy that this time I was able to win.”

Kalinskaya, who conceded Paolini “totally deserved it and (fought) for every ball,” told the fans during the prize cermony: “I’ve never played so much tennis in one week, but it was a pleasure playing in front of you. You make it very special and give a lot of energy and support, so hopefully see you all next year.”

Meanwhile, the doubles final saw No.4 seeded Storm Hunter and Katerina Siniakova triumph over No.3 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez 6-4, 6-2. Attention now turns to the ATP 500 men’s tournament, which starts on Monday and features six of the world’s top 20, including three previous winners in Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Andy Murray.