Nov
29
2010
Tiger Woods Dubai Fizzles Out in the Desert
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

The unfinished site of the Tiger Woods Dubai project

There was a grand vision for Tiger’s Dubai project, but in the post-crash Dubai economy, construction was halted and on the year-anniversary of Tiger’s car crash, there was nothing but an abandoned sales office and a barely-built “Arabian palace” in the middle of tumbleweeds and sand, according to The Guardian‘s Lawrence Donegan:

Like so much else in post-boom Dubai, the palace is a facade, propped up by wooden beams. Behind it lies a collection of portable cabins that in the glory days of the economic boom served as a sales office. These days the salesmen have gone, to be replaced by a handful of cleaners and maintenance staff trying to keep alive what is left of the $1.1bn fantasy.

There is not much; a scale model of the proposed development in one of the rooms, some dusty furniture and a telephone long disconnected. What has happened to Tiger Woods Dubai? “No comment. I don’t know,” said a Dubai-based spokesman for IMG, the sports agency that represents Woods around the world, while repeated attempts to contact the Dubai Properties Group, the government-controlled company that now owns the development, are met with no response.

In the week before his infamous car crash, Woods came to Dubai to look over the work that had been done up until then. He has never been back but when – or if – he ever returns, he will find virtually nothing has changed. Six holes have been completed and the outline of 12 more are in place, all behind a fenced-off compound hidden away from public view. Ghostly fairways lined by 3,000 trees, with 8,000 more stored under canvas. Will the project ever be finished? “Who knows? It could be great if it ever gets finished, but we don’t know if it will ever get finished,” says one member of the staff. “They better make a decision soon because we are struggling to keep the desert at bay.”

Donegan also notes that the deserted project is guzzling one million gallons of water a month to keep the vegetation alive. That sounds like wasting resources for a billion-dollar plan that will likely never be realized. Why not just come to grips with the loss and move on?

(Photo via The Guardian)