The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will take place from January 21-24, with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic staged from January 28-31. The European Tour then moves to neighbouring Saudi Arabia for the Saudi International from February 4-7.
These events are scheduled to go ahead despite a tightening of restrictions due to pandemic concerns. Following a spike in cases in the UAE, the UK is closing its travel corridor and returnees from the region will have to self isolate. [Update below]
However this has not curbed the enthusiasm of players who are set to tee off next week, and the European Tour officials are ensuring all possible precautions.
Golf 365 Reports that a European Tour spokesperson said, "Preparations are continuing for our forthcoming events in the Middle East to hold these tournaments safely and in-line with government guidance.
"We will continue to operate strict tournament bubbles as part of our stringent health strategy, an approach which helped us safely stage 27 consecutive events in 2020 following our resumption in July."
And, according to the Sports Editor of Gulf News, reigning champion Lee Westwood is "raring to go":
The Englishman rolled back the years by rolling in the puts as he claimed the European Tour points title 21 years after he first claimed the crown. He set a sensational season in motion by convincingly winning in Abu Dhabi last January, and consistently turned in top 10 finishes throughout the year, culminating with a second place at the DP World Tour Championship in December to take the Race to Dubai prize in the UAE.
“Abu Dhabi is such a good place to start the season. It is a great city and a great course that doesn’t beat you up too much,” Westwood told Gulf News in an online chat.
“Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s course is not too tough, but just tough enough to test the field. Abu Dhabi is right up there as one of my favourite courses.” Full article, with more from Lee Westwood, at Gulf News.
Update: The UK is closing ALL travel corridors from Monday morning, 18 January. Anyone flying into the country from overseas will now have to show proof of a negative Covid test before setting off. BBC news link.