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When world number three golfer Henrik Stenson looks for a home, it's only natural that it's not going to be far from a golf course. Fortunately, as brand ambassador for Jumeirah Golf Estates (JGE), it didn't take long for him to find the perfect Dubai residence.
''Given what I do, spending most of my time playing and practising, you want to be near a golf course and here at JGE you have that luxury,'' says Stenson in an exclusive interview with Property Weekly. ''You can enjoy the golf and the lifestyle at the same time.
''There are a lot of good master communities around the world and this is obviously one of them,'' adds the Swedish golfer. ''It is a place you don't really need to leave. You have everything; you can play golf, tennis and if you need to stretch out a little, you have the big pool at the clubhouse. There are facilities for kids and the family, plus restaurants and a gym is opening soon.''
The gym is expected to open later this year and, although parts of JGE are still under construction, there are two food and beverage outlets open at the clubhouse — Swirl Lounge and Bar and Fresca Delicatessen and Café. The clubhouse is also already hosting activities such as quiz nights and even salsa lessons.
''That's what I love about where my home is,'' says Stenson, who lives in Florida for most of the year. ''In the US I have everything there. When I'm on tour I go to restaurants and do stuff, so when I get a week off at home, I don't really want to leave.
''That's the beauty of where I live in the US and here at JGE because I can be at home, relax, be with the family and just enjoy life outside work. For me, work and golf is the same, but for other people when they come home they can play nine holes with family and friends and enjoy being out there.''
Jumeirah Golf Estates offers a collection of villas to choose from, which include Redwood, Flame Tree Ridge and Whispering Pines, all with different architectural styles and views of both the Earth and Fire Courses, which were designed by Greg Norman.
Stenson's property is a Mediterranean-style four bedroom villa plus study in Flame Tree Ridge. It's due to be handed over soon and comes with a Poggenpohl kitchen, Miele appliances, Bang & Olufsen audio and video systems and landscaped gardens, which are standard for all Flame Tree Ridge villas. The price for a similar property is about Dh18 million.
''I don't spend nearly as much time as I used to in Dubai,'' says Stenson. ''My base has moved a little bit from Dubai to the US, where I play the majority of my golf, but it's always good to come back here.
''I have lots of friends here and, because I made Dubai my home for almost ten years, the connection is still strong. I have had some great times and some great successes on the golf course here. I have had a lot of good fun times and I got married down here.''
Stenson says the golfing facilities at JGE are first class. ''For anyone who is serious about golf, the practice facilities are great. We have two good golf courses and the European Tour Performance [Institute] on the other side of the range, which offers anything you'd like in terms of game improvement and working on your skills to become a better player. You see a lot of tour players making stops here before the season starts, or on the way to some of the tournaments around the world.
''It's a frequently visited spot for some of the best players in the world. And if you are just a regular weekend golfer, you definitely have everything you need. There are great facilities and I think people enjoy playing on a golf course that features on television — The Dubai World Championship has been held here since 2009.''
Ideal for socialising
While the golf facilities are unrivalled, the opening of the clubhouse has made a big difference to socialising.
''The clubhouse was definitely an important part for the development,'' says Stenson. ''To have the restaurants and locker room and everything else last November for the Championship, it made a big difference and it looks great. It was the first time we were in the new facilities.''
What the future holds for JGE in terms of property prices nobody knows, but with its world-class facilities, the future looks promising.
''I'm not a real estate guru,'' says Stenson. ''I couldn't tell you what's going to happen. But any place that has a lot of good things would keep a good value, I'd have thought. In terms of housing on a golf course, I guess this is one of the best places in Dubai. You've got two championship golf courses and all the facilities.''
Compare this place to Mirdif - a prime choice for serene and luxurious living
Source: Helga Jensen-Forde, Special to Property Weekly