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February 2, 2010

Gary Chapman

Richard Hills

Colin Montgomerie


GORDON SIMPSON: Ladies and gentlemen, I would just like to welcome you all to this fantastic new media facility, courtesy of golf in DUBAI here at the Emirate Golf Club. As you can see for yourself, things have moved on since we were here first 21 years ago.
The first task I would like to do is introduce the top table for this very important announcement. Unfortunately His Highness Sheikh Ahmed was unable to attend today, but we have a stellar cast nevertheless. I'll begin with the man in the centre in the grey suit, and that's Gary Chapman. Gary is the President of Emirates Group Services and Dnata. On Gary's right is a very familiar face to most of you, a man who won 31 European Tour titles, played in eight Ryder Cups, five of them as a winning member of the European team, and of course, Colin Montgomerie will be the Captain at The Celtic Manor Resort in October. And on my immediate right is Richard Hills who is the European Ryder Cup Director. Richard has presided over the last six Ryder Cups and I'm pleased to say that have won most of them! Richard, welcome, and the other top table guests.
So first of all, Gary, would you like to lead off.
GARY CHAPMAN: Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good afternoon and thank you for attending. It is my pleasure to announce today that Emirates will be part of The Ryder Cup Team, supporting Colin Montgomerie and his players as The Official Airline of the 2010 Ryder Cup, and Official partner of The European Team 2012.
The Ryder Cup is the pinnacle event in team golf with players vying to be part of the contest which has defined the careers of many of the world's greatest golfers. If you have even the slightest interest in the game of golf, no matter your nationality, you cannot be but mesmerised by this most compelling of sporting events; if you have more than a passing interest in golf, then it is the ultimate wow factor.
For us to be part of such a prestigious tournament is a tremendous honour, and with millions of TV viewers across the globe watching this October, it is a fantastic opportunity to consolidate our position as a global force in sports sponsorship.
As an Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010, it was always going to be a memorable year for Emirates. It is now going to be even more special with the addition of The Ryder Cup, which marks the crowning moment in a long and successful association with golf, which dates back to 1989.
Securing this amazing event would not have been possible without the close relationship that Emirates has developed with The European Tour through our growing sponsorship portfolio at its tournaments. We thank them for their support in the venture which will bring us even closer together and ensure both the 2010 and 2012 Ryder Cups are a great success. Thank you.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much, and I'll now pass over to Richard Hills, who will say a few words.
RICHARD HILLS: Thank you, Gordon. Thank you very much, Gary, for those kind words.
Firstly I would like to say thank you to Mohamed Buamaim and his team at the tournament here for allowing this marvellous new facility here. Congratulations on what you've achieved in this changeover.
There is something of a tradition of major press conferences in Dubai, indeed, the last three captains, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, and indeed Colin, have all been announced at the tournament here in the desert.
Gary, it's 25 years since Emirates were formed, and it's 25 years that the entity of Europe first won The Ryder Cup match. So together, it's something of an anniversary of those 25 years.
We think it's very appropriate that you as an international company join the family of partner sponsors of The Ryder Cup, and we welcome you to Team Europe. Thank you very much for your support.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Richard.
And last but not least, Colin, as Richard quite rightly said, a year ago here at the Emirates was the big announcement of you becoming Captain. We have had a year now, in which the momentum has been gathering, so just give us your thoughts on today's announcement and The Ryder Cup preparations.
CAPTAIN COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, they are, indeed, gaining momentum and may I start by thanking Gary for his support, not only of many tournaments that we have around the globe that you support on The European Tour, but as Richard so rightly says, to welcome you to the family of Ryder Cup and with your support, it can only help us in our quest to regain the trophy in October.
As Richard so rightly says, I was announced here, what, a year ago tomorrow as Ryder Cup Captain, and it's been a thrill so far, and all the admin is in place and we just have to look at the team now. And it is shaping up to be the strongest team that we have ever assembled here in Europe. I look forward to captaining them, and as I say, regaining such a much-coveted trophy. Thank you.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Colin.
I think that concludes proceedings. Thank you very much to Colin, to Gary, to Richard, it's a wonderful day and a great announcement for The Ryder Cup, so thank you very much for your attendance today. Thank you.

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