Women Just Made a Huge Breakthrough in Professional Sports

The first-ever female professional golf tournament in Abu Dhabi teed off this week. Here's how it came to be.
Women Just Made a Huge Breakthrough in Professional Sports
Image credit: Francois Nel | Getty Images

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This week, Abu Dhabi hosted its first-ever exclusively ladies professional golf event, the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, featuring more than 120 of players from the European Tour.

Sports and entertainment agency Wasserman worked with the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Academy and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council to create this historic three-day event, which featured golf great Annika Sörenstam as the guest of honor.

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Speaking about this accomplishment, Wasserman’s Vice President David Collins told Entrepreneur, “Abu Dhabi has hosted a host of world-class sports and entertainment events, but one of the omissions from that portfolio was world-class ladies' sports.”

Seeing an opportunity for great social and financial gain, Wasserman helped build a three-year partnership between the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Ladies European Tour.

"The Abu Dhabi Sports Council and FBMA named the tournament after the Mother of the Nation, Fatima Bint Mubarak," Collins says. “Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak is the most revered woman in United Arab Emirates history. Honoring her helped catapult this event to the forefront of public attention, and the corporate community as well.”

Related: 10 Inspirational Golf Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Corporate giants flocked to the event, hoping, as Collins explained, to be the first to plant their flag in this new market. And beyond financial gain, Collins says that Wasserman hopes that the tournament will “encourage more females to get involved in golf, and support the Sports Council's mandate to encourage an active lifestyle.”

“We want to be leaders in the women’s sports business and for us to be able to go into the Sports Council and not only talk about delivering a world-class golf event," he says, "but also to get some positive social movement was a great achievement for us.”

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