The Omega Dubai Desert Classic was born in 1989 when the European Tour visited the Middle East for the first time. The roll of honour includes seven different Major Champions. They are: Seve Ballesteros (1992), Ernie Els (1994, 02, 05), Fred Couples (1995), José Maria Olazábal (1998), Mark O'Meara (2004), Tiger Woods (2006, 08) and Rory McIlroy (2009, 15). Between them they have won 32 Major Championships.
Promoted and organized by golf in DUBAi, the tournament is fondly referred to as the ‘Major of the Middle East,’ because of its longevity and a world-class field that it attracts every year.
Since 1989 the tournament has seen 22 different winners from 12 different nations. The 27th edition of the tournament in 2016, won by England’s Danny Willett, boasted truly a ‘Classic field’ that comprised 89 European Tour winners, eight major champions with combined 15 titles, six European Tour number ones, 20 Ryder Cup players and nine former ODDC champions and two of world’s top six players.
The tournament week recorded a healthy attendance of 43,503, which was well over the last year's figure (38,165). As many as 11,953 fans were on hand on Sunday, beating the previous best final day figure of 11,077 recorded in 2015.
Ernie Els (1994, 2002, 05), Rory McIlroy (2009, 15), Tiger Woods (2006, 2008) and Stephen Gallacher (2013, 2014) are the only players who have recorded multiple victories in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
- South African great Els has played 15 times on the Majlis course. In that time he has recorded three victories, nine top threes. Of his 56 rounds on the Majlis course he is a total of 184 under par. Els set the current course record of 61 (-11) on the opening day in 1994, which contained a European Tour record of 12 birdies in a single round. He has broken par in 44 of his 52 rounds.
- Rory McIlroy is now 96 under par for his last seven appearances on the Majlis course that have yielded a first in 2009, sixth in 2010, tenth in 2011, fifth in 2012, ninth in 2014, first in 2015 and sixth in 2016.
- At 19 years and 273 days, McIlroy became the youngest winner of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2009, beating the previous record of England's David Howell, who had won the 1999 edition when he was 23 years and 236 days old.
- Since making his first visit to Dubai in 2001, Woods has won the tournament twice. He is 94-under-par for the 28 rounds that he has played on the Majlis course.
- Mark O'Meara is the oldest winner of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, a feat he achieved in 2004, aged 47 and 54 days.
- In 2009, Matthew Turner created history, becoming the first amateur from the UAE to make the cut. The teenager posted rounds of 70-72-71-75 for a level-par score of 288 to finish tied 51st. If he were a professional, he would have won euro 8,152.71.
- In 2011, Spain's Alvaro Quiros, who was tied 65th after an opening round of 73, staged one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, to win the tournament at 11 under. He was eight shots behind the leader after 36 holes.
- The 2011 edition also witnessed a hole-in-hole in every round. It was only the second time in the history of the European Tour that such a feat was recorded. David Howell of England, Keith Horne of South Africa, France's Raphael Jacquelin and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain aced the 7th, 4th, 7th and 11th in that order.
- The 2012 winner Rafael Cabrera-Bello represented the first time a Spaniard has won the same European Tour event for three consecutive years since the Mallorca Classic, when Miguel Angel Jimenez won in 2003, Sergio Garcia in 2004 and Jose Maria Olazabal in 2005. With this win, Cabrera-Bello also became the fifth Spanish player to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, following Seve Ballesteroes (1992), Jose Maria Olazabal (1998), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2010) and Alvaro Quiros (2011).
- Two holes-in-one were recorded during the 2012 edition of the event. Scotland's Gallacher aced the par-3, 15th in the first round. He was presented with a gleaming Mercedes-Benz S-Class car for his perfect tee shot. Incidentally, it was Gallacher's second hole in one on the Majlis course, having recorded the same score on the fourth hole in 2005. Germany's Martin Kaymer also scored a hole-in-one (in the second round) on the par-3, seventh - and with it, won a special watch from title sponsors Omega.
- In 2015, Quiros aced the par-3, fourth to record his second ace on the Majlis course
- In 2016, Danny Willett of England birdied the final hole to wins his first Omega Dubai Desert Classic title.