Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

GEO Certified® 01/2016
Dubai,
United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 2956000
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Executive summary (English & local language)

Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club plays an extraordinary role in the conservation of the Creek natural heritage and in enhancing the promotion of Dubai’s local emblems. The Club is far beyond of comprising a 18-hole par 71 championship golf course: the saltwater Creek, in whose margin the golf course is located, historically divides the city of Dubai into two main sections (Deira and Bur Dubai); and its Clubhouse represents stunningly a dhow (the traditional sailing vessel with lateen sails), an Islamic icon. Furthermore, Ras Al Khor (“at the Cape of the Creek” ) Wildlife Sanctuary, a wetland reserve renowned for attracting migratory birds in large numbers, is just 2 miles away from the Club, and birds, crustaceans, small mammals and fish move from the wetland to the course surrounds.
Since its opening in 1.993, the golf course has maturated and balances perfectly an equilibrium between a superb level of presentation (hosted the Dubai Desert Classic in 1.999 and 2.000) and sustainable maintenance practices (represented mainly with the establishment of drought resistant grasses and the reduction of turf areas).

Nature

The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club runs adjacent to the historic Dubai Creek, which has helped the city to establish its commercial position, serving as a minor port for dhows; as a harbour for the pearling expeditions; and as the base for the fishing industry. In several holes of the course, the Creek comes into play, thus connecting golf with this historic saltwater ecosystem, whose natural ending is at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. The different wilderness of this protected area finds an unexpected protected habitat at the Club, just 2 miles away from the wetland. The golf course helps therefore to preserve the biodiversity of this delicate ecosystem by avoiding the intense aerial & urban traffic of the surrounding area.
On the other hand, the course was designed to dune shaped fairways and soft connections to the Creek trough mounds & rolling slopes. The course accounts with 2 natural & groundwater filled lakes, finally connected to the creek thus allowing a variety of marine life to live on their warm and shallow waters. Vegetation is mainly represented by palm trees (coconuts, washingtonians, and dates), cornicarpus and gaff trees.
Finally, nature at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club is defined by the significant reduction in the areas of managed turfgrass that is being achieved: villa sides and bunkers mounds are the target area; and autochthonous grasses & vegetation are being established on them.

The grassing plan takes into account the recommendations of the landscape experts of Dubai Municipality. Native fire grasses are being introduced in the property, representing an alternative to common turfgrass that requires less water, no fertility and no mowing.

Native areas have been and are being established all through the Club, but mainly in the slopes and in the villa sides of the course. Thanks to their sandy structure, those areas are perfectly playable. Because there’s not irrigation installed on the, those areas maintain the native desert vegetation on them, whilst helping to reduce water consumption on the course. Regarding maintenance, the native areas are trimmed twice per yea to ensure playability, and raked regularly. The Clubs expects to reach 5 acres of native areas in the near future.

Bermudagrass is the main turfgrass specie established at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club. This drought & salinity tolerant grass, which additionally ensures optimum playability conditions, is present in each playing area of the course (TifEagle on greens & 419 on tees, fairways and roughs). Its pesticides & inputs requirements are significantly lower than would be in a cool season grass, and so they are its maintenance practices demands.
Annually, tees and roughs are overseed in order to provide traffic resistance and to improve aesthetics & playability during the high season (october – march). Fairways and greens keep the bermudagrass sward thus giving the course a beautiful contrast between those areas and the overseeded ones that enhances the landscape.

Dubai Creek Golf & Country Club helps importantly in the conservation of the Creek natural ecosystem through its location (about 2 miles away from the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary). Wildlife finds a green landscape with natural, warm saltwater lakes, similar to those on the wetland. This helps the fauna finding a safe place to habit, avoiding the airport & city traffic and finding natural water in a desertic landscape. A good example of this are the flamingoes, whose habitat is Ras Al Khor but that frequently visit the golf course.
Regarding the golf course, the lack of irrigation on the native areas together with the reduced maintenance practices allows the natural flora to develop, establish and endure; thus preserving the wildlife and natural flora ecosystem. In several bunkers banks, the rough side is being re-established with the autochthonous grasses.

Water

Since 2.011, irrigation water for the golf course and landscaping areas is 100% treatment sewerage effluent (TSE) water. This significant change from desalt / potable water to TSE is an achievement that enhances recycling, saves energy and reduces pollution and ecological adverse effects of the concentrated salt product when pumped to the sea after desalt process. This fact represents an example of sustainability.
Plant water requirements are calculated on a daily basis by analyzing both volumetric water content (VWC, measured with a specific device) in the soil and evapotranspiration (ET, with data provided by the meteorological station located at the course).

TSE irrigation water (for the golf course and landscaping areas) is provided by Dubai Municipality; meanwhile potable water (for the rest of the Club) comes from the public network and is provided by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.
Although water counter meters from the Dubai Municipality are installed on the main lines, the Club has 97 independent counter meters in each secondary line in order to control consumptions and to detect any disruption in data. Lectures of the counter meters are taken on a daily basis and consumption figures are issued to be analyzed by the management team.
Monthly reports including water consumption on the Club are issued.

On the golf course, irrigation efficiency is mainly pursuit by means of the exhaustive calculation of the plant water requirements every day. 9 measurements of VWC are taken in each green of the course in order to apply the exact amount necessary to keep optimum playing condition whilst saving as much water as possible. The combination between soil water content data, ET values and the greenkeeper experience allows an exact calculation is to be applied on each area with different requirements on the course.
Additionally, during the hottest period of the year, irrigation by hand watering is scheduled so that only the dry patches are irrigated. This avoids irrigating a small dry patch with a 70 feet radius sprinkler.
Regarding the irrigation equipment (i.e. the pump station, the lakes fountains, the central control irrigation software, etc.) are serviced periodically and audit annually by the greenkeeping staff. The clubhouse area, which accounts 6 independent pump stations, is equally serviced periodically.

The native areas that are being created in the outrough (with fire grasses and autochthonous vegetation) and in the rough side of several bunkers banks are an outstanding example of TSE water use reduction. There are artificial drainage lines all along the fairways which allow collecting excess water on the irrigation lakes. Water collected in the car paths lower points is also recycled in the irrigation lakes. The greenkeeping staff also includes specific maintenance practices in order to reduce water consumption, such as the use of wetting agents, or rooting enhancement through cultural practices.
Regarding potable water, the Clubhouse facility is being improving with the installation of waterless urinals, water tab flow restrictors, automatic urinal & handwash sensors and water awareness signage.
Finally, the installation and daily control of the water counter meters all along the Club allows detecting any possible leak in any area.

Energy

The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority is the main sources of energy to the club. While all kitchens run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG),
club vehicles run on petrol & diesel.
The use of renewable energy sources was not projected initially in the Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club, and thus those sources of energy are not being used at the facility today. Solar energy to be installed at the villas roofs would be a possibility, but it is not affordable at the moment.
However, the Clubhouse building design (with reduced crystal surfaces, doubled panel grass for isolating, against-sun orientation, white color outside) helps in achieving energy saving; and several improvements are being putting in place in order to be more efficient. 70% of the external lights are controlled with timers now, and most of the internal lights have been upgraded from bulbs to LED. The air conditioning system is being upgraded at the kitchens.
The greenkeeping staff has started a process of changing to biodegradable oil sources; and has already recently incorporated to its fleet new greens mowers with hybrid technology (with electrical mechanism for the cutting units instead of hydraulic).
Finally, there’s a shuttle bus connecting the Club and the hosting employee’s residence (company quarters, used by 80% of the employees); and Dubai metro connects the Club efficiently with the rest of the city. This avoids the use of fuel in cars and saves energy.

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority provides the Club with non renewable grid; whilst LPG is used for cooking at the kitchens. The Club accounts with its own fuel station for the petrol & diesel fleet; meanwhile the golf carts fleet is almost entirely electric.
Although energy consumption has decreased in general terms, during the summer months the demand has increased due to air conditioning in the QD’s tent, one of the most famous meeting places in the Creek. Regarding petrol & diesel, there is significant reduction in the use of diesel together with an increase on the use of petrol. This is explained by the petrol consumption of the bus bringing employees from the residence.
Finally, a very detailed record of the each non-renewable energy consumption is maintained, with an exhaustive daily control and monthly reports including figures and electricity counter meters lectures for each area (academy, clubhouse, marina, villas, residence, golf course, etc.).

Since 2.011, more than 70% of the existing bulb lights have been upgraded to LED lighting.
On the golf course, the greens mowers are been gradually upgraded to hybrid technology, avoiding the generation of CO2 emissions from petrol & diesel carts. The same happens with the clubcar fleet, which is 100% electrical powered.

The reduction on fuel consumption is mainly achieved by the shuttle bus between the Club and the employee’s residence; together with the electric clubcar fleet (80% of the total) and the hybrid mowers purchased (26% of the total ride on mowing fleet).
Regarding energy savings, it’s addressed by the change of the old incandescent metal halide lamps to LED lights and the use of variable frequency drives in the irrigation pump station (allowing pumps to work in lower frequencies and thus not demanding their maximum voltage consumption). Motion sensor lighting is gradually being installed in the Clubhouse building.
The high energy demand required by the air conditioning systems during the hot season is equilibrated by both the building’s design and the responsible attitude and commitment of the staff, which keeps attitudes (doors & windows closing, temperature regulation, etc.) in order to minimize energy requirements.

Supply Chain

Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club purchasing policy is developed with a central procurement office, which manages the relationship between contractors, suppliers and products. The end utility of all products and services lies with each end user department at the Club (Golf Maintenance, Golf Operations, Food and Beverage, Engineering, Residences, Marina, Sales & Marketing, Administration, Human Resources, etc.).
The Club works within a budget, and suppliers are rated yearly. Local distributors are chosen when possible. HACPP procedures are well kept in the kitchens and Al Hallal products follow a strict control procedure for certification.

The Club emits a request form filled (SAP) to the central procurement office, which depends on the government and looks for 3 budgets of each item required once specs have been specified for each department. Finally, the purchasing approval is realized based on prices, recommendations and preferences. Local suppliers and local products are sourced whenever possible and as a preference. Clothes, food, bunkers sand, fertilizers, cement and cables are good examples of local products purchased by the Club.

Notable practices are being introduced in the greenkeeping plan in order to minimize inputs on turfgrass. The use of plant growth regulators or the injection system for fertilize and treat the courses are an example of this.

Bermudagrass, the turfgrass specie established in the golf course, is environmentally adapted to Dubai’s conditions thanks to its their drought resistance. Plus, it admits TSE water irrigation (thanks to its salinity tolerance) and has low input requirements.
Regarding maintenance practices, the use of plant growth regulators and wetting agents help significantly minimizing inputs on turfgrass. Soil structure is enhanced through an intense cultural practices program including Drill and Fill operations, hollow coring, verticutting, use of graden linear aerators, slicers, spikers, needle tining and regular topdressing and dusting on surfaces. Soil amendments are incorporated to the soil structure; and organic products such as humic & fulvic acids, chicken manure, seaweed extracts or aminoacids are included in the fertilization program.
Diseases are controlled in a preventative strategy. That provides a double benefit: product rates are lower in the preventative rather than in the curative program (so total annual pesticide consumption is lower); and disease control is more consistent.
All fertilizer & pesticide applications are recorded and saved in both paper & computer support; and calibration records are kept for the spraying equipment (done monthly throughout the year).

Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club Club works with an external contractor in order to remove spare parts and wood. Clippings collected in the washing pad for the turf fleet are removed equally. An authorized recycling company collects all paper & cardboard, plastic and oil cooking. All those are kept in separate, specific containers outside the maintenance facility. The central procurement office has deals with scrappers in order to remove aluminum, metals, batteries and used tires.
Re-use of materials is achieved by piling cores coming from aeration practices in the turf nursery. Wood is also re-used for landscaping purposes, once it has been chipped. Regarding recycling, 100% of the golf course & landscaping areas is recycled water (TSE). Excess water collected in the drainages lines and in the car paths basins are recycled through addressing them to the irrigation lakes. The sand used for specific topdressing purposes is red dune sand, which was also used during the construction process of the course. Finally, the Club recycles kitchen oils (collected by an external contractor and this is converted for use as bio fuel within Dubai), batteries, wooden pallets (some of them used for artisanal buggy boxes for transporting tools), mowing bottom blades (used for fabricate knifes), and plastic, aluminum, paper & cardboard and metal as mentioned before). Finally, grass clippings are recycled on fairways and roughs, incorporating nutrients and organic compounds to the soil.

Pollution Control

Pollution is mainly controlled externally at Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club. Both a private company and Dubai municipality provide specific containers for wastes and hazard materials, allowing separation of different materials and products. Then, removal of containers and wastes is also provided by both entities. Water quality is analyzed and monitored for both potable and TSE water.

Water analyses for potable water are carried out by an external accredited Dubai Company periodically: chemical analysis on a monthly basis, biological analysis on a 2 month basis, and legionella analysis twice per year.
TSE water is analyzed twice per tear in private laboratories in order to compare the results with those provided by the treatment sewerage plant. Trends in the most important water parameters which determine turf health and soil structure are evaluated; and a correction program is developed.

Waste water on the different buildings goes to sewage.
In the maintenance facility, water coming from the washing pad passes through a filter which separates debris and toxic chemicals (oils, grease and fuels) from clean water. Machinery is blown before washing in order to eliminate solid wastes. Blowers are installed in the same washing pad.

Hazardous materials are classified and registered at the Club, and kept in secure storage prior to their removal by the outsourcing company for waste management. Pesticides and fertilizers are kept in a specific storage rooms.

Pollution prevention at the Clubhouse is guaranteed thanks to both impervious & and covered areas for the storage of hazardous products. In the maintenance facility, and except the utility vehicles, all the equipment is undercover. Sand based absorbents are available in the facility in order to act over any leakage that may occur.
An external contractor (Al Fajaar) carries out the pest control in food production area, non food production area, offices and the surrounding areas of the clubhouse

Advanced and responsible greenkeeping practices prevent pollution in the golf course at Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club. The fertilization program just includes a single granular application (calcium nitrate) per year. The rest of the year, nutrients are applied based on foliar applications, including spoonfeeding plans with small nutrient doses. That reduces the risks of leaching and runoff of the fertilizers.
Regarding pesticides, a preventive program is carried out in order to use the lowest recommended rates of fungicides and insecticides, again reducing the risk of underground water contamination.
Finally, the creation of native areas free of any pesticide treatments and out of the fertilization program also prevents pollution on the golf course.

Community

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club strongly enhances the activity & sustainability of one of the most important Dubai’s heritages, the Creek. The Creek is a wildlife reservoir, hosting the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. It also conserves Dubai’s old traditions: small facilities continue to exist along the creek, providing porting to traders from the region and the subcontinent; and the traditional form of transport between the Deira and Bur sides of the creek was through abras (a traditional boat made of wood), continues operating.
The Club also provides the true golfing experience that a player would expect to enjoy in Dubai. It’s location on the heart of the city, on the Deira side of the Creek, allows the golfer enjoy spectacular views of both Dubai's stunning skyline and magnificent Al Maktoum Bridge. The satisfaction granted by the superb level of presentation of the course is enhanced with both the native & desertic areas and with the Creek coming into play on several holes.
Finally, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club plays an important community role regarding social life and economic thrust. Its outstanding and acknowledge clubhouse; its yacht club and the marina (with its popular outdoor restaurants, venues, boardwalk and the city's only seaplane tour operator); and its residential development (with a Park Hyatt hotel and 92 villas) enhances social life and attracts tourism and provides leisure.

All employees are full time contracted at the Club, thus providing them stability and long term opportunities. About 80% of those employees live in the Club Headquarters. Hierarchies, responsibilities, roles and missions are clearly defined for each position. Formation & education programs about health & safety, risk prevention & evaluation or emergency plans are provided to employees. The course greenkeeper attends the Golf Industry Show frequently, attending specific seminars addressed to the problems and issues affecting its turf. He also participates actively on the middle east golf association network.



Additionally, the magnitude of the Club (which comprises the golf course, the clubhouse, the Yatch club, the marina and the boardwalk with its numerous restaurants & bars, etc.) requires manpower, thus providing important employment opportunities. Local contractors are contacted permanently in order to provide services and products.

The sustainability working group is constituted by general manager, course manager and facility manager.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club is a quasi-government entity, which accounts with a specific department that deals with every government related matter. It was the second grass golf course to be built in the Middle East, and it also features a packed Par 3 course, a well-equipped Driving Range including a swing studio. The Club was home to the first golf academy in the middle aast, and all its practice facilities are floodlit to allow play late into the night.
As a demonstration of its compromise with community relations, the Club participates in the Clean up the Creek campaign: all the staff spend one morning cleaning rubbish from the Creek. This happens yearly (in April); and the campaign helps transmitting both the Club staff and Dubai citizens about the importance of preserving the Creek ecosystem. Additionally, the Club supports programs & campaigns for waste management such as Clean Up Our World or the Plastic Collection Campaign.

The Clubhouse simulates a dhow, the traditional sailing vessel with lateen sails; and so does the on-course signage. For instance, tee panels and marks imitate the clubhouse dhow and are manufactured by local contractors. Old traditions like the abras (a traditional boat made of wood for transport between the Deira and Bur sides of the Creek) continues operating. Old & local facilities also exist along the creek.
Finally, the Club helps in the conservation of the natural heritages of Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, representing an extension of the natural wetland and providing a natural & open space for native birds among the city buildings, traffic and airport.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club does not present any known legal disputes affecting the site, nor any community conflict connected to the facility or related business activities.

The member consultative committee meets 3 times per year, with the aim of ask queries, and listen to members’ demands & expectations. Customer feedback is evaluated and considered. The greenkeeper writes a monthly report including what has been done and what is to be done in the course; considering Marshal and players feedback. He also includes notes regarding player behavior in the golf course (ball mark repairing, etc.).

External communications are mainly carried out by posting and sending newsletter on the Clubhouse. Brochures and press notes are periodically released.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

As named, Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club is located in one of the most significant natural heritages that the Emirate of Dubai has: Dubai Creek. Origin of the port trade & pearl industry of the city, and home of the Ras Al Khor wildflife sanctuary, the Creek has seen the city grow on both sides (Bur and Deira districts). Today, the Club magnificent Clubhouse watches the Creek flows into the sea, representing a beautiful dhow, an Islamic icon. Both the original & remarkable golfing experience that the course provides and the social life at the Clubhouse and the Yatch Club & Marina enhance the importance of the Creek.
Commitment with environmental sustainability is pursuit by enhancing native habitats, reducing maintained turf areas and introducing water & energy saving policies. The Club is also moving forward practices to improve pollution control and waste management.

Certification Highlights

• Dubai Creek Golf & Yatch Club plays an extraordinary role in the conservation of the Creek natural heritage.
• The Clubhouse represents stunningly a dhow, an Islamic icon, and it’s acknowledged worldwide.
• The golf course is less than 3 miles away from Ras Al Khor (“at the Cape of the Creek”) Wildlife Sanctuary, representing an extension of this wetland reserve and providing an open space among the city buildings & traffic.
• The Club is committed with environmental sustainability by enhancing native habitats, with their wildlife & vegetation. A reduction of maintained turf areas is gradually taking place, switching the original sward into autochthonous species such as the firegrasses.
• The Club is a meeting place which offers not only golf but a yacht club, the marina with its popular outdoor restaurants, venues, boardwalk etc. and a residential development. It enhances social life, attracts tourism and provides leisure, thus developing an important community mission.