UAE Joins the International Pairs Golf Scene: An Inside Look at iCON Sports and the Growing Golf Community

UAE Joins the International Pairs Golf Scene: An Inside Look at iCON Sports and the Growing Golf Community

Introduction to iCON Sports

ICON Sports is a sports management and consultancy firm, run and operated by Bhininder Singh Bali. Formed in November 2022, the company’s mission is to support and co-create amateur tournaments within the larger sports ecosystem in the United Arab Emirates. With the government and related entities placing more emphasis on promoting athletics and professional excellence in sports across diverse levels and demographics, now is the perfect time for iCON to establish itself.

Goals of iCON Sports

The company has three main goals: 1. Support and co-create amateur tournaments within the larger sports ecosystem in the UAE. 2. Create a platform for competition where talent can come through at various stages of experience, from amateurs to professional athletes competing for major dollars. 3. Contribute to the sports tourism industry, which is projected to contribute 17% towards the GCC region’s GDP by 2030.

The Team and Expansion Plans

iCON Sports currently has a team of five members and is targeting expansion in the coming months to support its operational and commercial objectives. The aim is to bring together the community and the world through sports and engage, encourage, and ensure that the next generation works towards professional excellence.

The Minds Behind Icon Sports & International Pairs UAE

B.S. Bali, an ex-major in the Indian Army, has sports in his blood. Growing up playing various sports, Bali was always good at traditional sports that required hand-eye coordination. These days, he spends most of his time playing golf and can often be found on a course in cities around the world, depending on his travels, which are usually related to his aviation business.

Sam has always been passionate about sports from a very young age, playing various sports and representing his school and college in table tennis, cricket and golf. He picked up golf at the age of 12 after watching his dad pick up the game. For him, it not only gave him a way to fall in love with this beautiful sport but a conduit to building a lifelong activity based bonding with his father. His passion is to introduce sports to kids from an early age and grow the culture of sports, activity and professional athleticism across the globe. A step in that direction are the efforts being spent in introducing and setting up the International Pairs in UAE. iCON Sports also represents athletes who have an objective to transition from an amateur status to a professional athlete level. The basis of this is to bring talent at a young age and nurture them into global elite athletes. 

The Unique Golf Scene in the UAE

Golf in the UAE is unique in its own way. The game was brought to the Middle East desert in the early 70s by oil traders, merchants, and companies from the Western Hemisphere, and it has held its own in the vision of the countries in the GCC. Starting from golf courses built from sand and tar, the UAE now boasts 22 world-class golf courses in a country of just 9 million population, where more than 80% are expatriates. Some of these golf courses feature in multiple prestigious golf course rankings around the world. Yas Links, The Majlis, The Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, to name a few, are some of the most remarkable courses that regularly host championships under the DP World Tour (previously the European Tour).

The Growing Game of Golf in the UAE

With the support of EGF (Emirates Golf Federation), Dubai Sports Council, and General Authority of Sports, the game is not only thriving but fast becoming a commercial opportunity across various segments. Although more could be done to grow the game organically to bring into the fold youngsters, women, and other social and financial classes, the game is in good hands. Predominantly, the regular amateur players, members at various golf courses are still expatriates from Europe, Indian Subcontinent, and Far Eastern nationalities. There are more than 20,000 regular golfers in UAE playing the game at least 1-2 times a month. 9000+ are registered with the EGF. However, there are many unaccounted social and recreational golfers who ply their trade via the more than 50 golf societies that are set up and active in the country.

Future of Golf in the UAE

There have been more than 2000 women who have picked up the game since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The game is set to grow in all areas related to the sport in the coming years. At least 3 more courses are ear-marked as projects in the coming years. Plenty of new apparel, equipment outlets are in the pipeline. Being at the forefront of tech, there’s being a tremendous growth and plans for various famous golf academies supported by the latest technology in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Supporting Partners & Sponsors of International Pairs UAE

With the support from Black Tee by Kehlani, Callaway and Precision Golf, Delta Aviation, International Pairs Golf UAE is sure to be something special starting in February 2023.

Where to Sign Up for International Pairs UAE?

Players in the UAE can sign up via the International Pairs UAE Website: or contact: 581741983.

Follow International Pairs UAE on social media:

FACEBOOK: @InternationalPairsUAE
INSTAGRAM: @InternationalPairsUAE
LINKEDIN: International Pairs Golf UAE

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