The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a surge in popularity for golf across the Middle East, putting pressure on supply chains that are struggling to keep up with demand as the sport, retail and leisure sectors continue to be affected by declining production levels.
In the Middle East, trade in golf apparel is expected to surpass $45m by 2026, but a fall in production levels, driven by supply shortages, is significantly impacting imports for 17% of companies surveyed by Economist Impact.
The same study, commissioned by DP World, also found that higher transport costs is limiting imports into the Middle East for 41% of companies.
Speaking about DP World’s commitment to the sports industry, Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO & Managing Director DP World UAE & Jafza, said: “Golf is a global business, reliant on international trade that ships the graphite in clubs to the quartz in a bunker. We recognise that supply chain disruptions, triggered by the pandemic, continue to affect the import of sports and leisure equipment into the Middle East. But DP World is expanding its smart logistics solutions and investing in leading technology to make sure we can connect regional consumption with global production cycles.”
To highlight how the pandemic-induced supply chain challenges have impacted the availability of golf equipment, DP World is leveraging its title partnership with the DP World Tour to collect used golf balls throughout the 2022 season. These balls will then be redistributed to support growth of the game globally.
The container, which is made from a repurposed shipping container, can house up to 200,000 golf balls. Its first stop will be the Fan Zone of the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, an iconic Rolex Series event on the DP World Tour, which takes place at the Emirates Golf Club from January 27th-30th.
DP World will deploy real-time container tracking technology to the golf container, allowing fans of the sport to follow its journey between tournaments, whether it is travelling by rail, road, or sea.
Guy Kinnings, Deputy CEO of the European Tour, concludes: “Golf is becoming increasingly popular in the region with 388,966 rounds played annually across 124 courses, and in Dubai it’s an industry that creates an annual turnover of AED975 million. Supporting this demand with a seamless supply chain is imperative to the continual growth of the game, and we are fortunate that DP World has the network and infrastructure to alleviate the pressure.”