ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 12:  Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel,  at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

The Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 begins this weekend, as celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment compete in the showpiece event. Hosted at the world-famous Yas Links Gold Course, in the shadows of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Track, the event will see a Professional Golfers Team led by former world No.1 golfer Martin Kaymer take on a Celebrity Team captained by Ballon D’or-winning footballer Luis Figo.

The Celebrity Team features six footballers, including Figo. Dwight Yorke, Peter Schmeichel and Ruud Gullit return for another year, having competed in the Celebrity Team in 2017. Yorke and Schmeichel played under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, winning a historic domestic and European treble in 1999. Yorke was one of the Premier League’s highest-scoring non-European players, whilst Schmeichel is widely renowned as one of the game’s finest goalkeepers. Gullit won the Ballon D’or in 1987 before winning Euro 1988 with his native Holland. Alessandro Del Piero and Trevor Steven complete the footballing set. Steven is a former England footballer who shot to fame with the successful Everton side of the 1980s while Del Piero, the diminutive Italian forward, won everything available to a professional footballer in a remarkable career.

Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway

Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh033_the_2018_abu.jpg]60Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh035_the_2018_abu.jpg]50Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh036_the_2018_abu.jpg]50Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh038_the_2018_abu.jpg]40Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh039_the_2018_abu.jpg]40Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh042_the_2018_abu.jpg]20Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh043_the_2018_abu.jpg]20Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/abu-dhabi-invitational-2018-set-to-get-underway/thumbs/thumbs_775101503nh044_the_2018_abu.jpg]20Abu Dhabi Invitational 2018 Set to Get Underway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 12: Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel, at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 12:  Attendees at the players BBQ, Yas Viceroy hotel,  at Yas Links Golf Course on January 12, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

Former Finnish Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen raced between 2007 and 2013, recording one GP win and several podium finishes. Cricketer Brian Lara is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, and holds the record for the highest individual score in first-class cricket. He will join Figo’s team alongside Welsh rugby union star Mike Phillips and Olympic Champions Sir Matthew Pinsent and Roland Schoeman. Pinsent won four gold medals in the sport of rowing, whilst Schoeman is one of South Africa’s most successful swimmers of all time.
Boyzlife duo Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden will also feature in the Celebrity Team; Duffy had 16 singles in the top five of the UK charts with Boyzone whilst McFadden had 17 Irish Top Five Singles with Westlife. James Nesbitt, who has featured in some of the decades seminal television and film works, completes the Celebrity line-up.

The Pros Team comprises 14 golfers of impressive pedigree. From the Ladies European Tour, Camilla Lennarth will be joined by Holly Clyburn whilst Ahmed Al Musharrekh will also play as the only Emirati professional golfer. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championships is one of the circuit-leading European Tour golf tournaments, and former winners Gary Stal and Pablo Larrazbal will also join Kaymer’s Pros Team.
The draw for Saturday’s action will take place on Friday night and the event will be hosted at Yas Links Golf Course, previously voted as one of the ‘World’s Top City Golf Clubs’ by CNN Travel.

The event’s chosen charity this year is Cancer Care Patient Society – Rahma. The Rahma campaign aims to undo the stigma associated with losing hope as a result of cancer. Through Rahma’s support, patients and their families will be given the support necessary to overcome the physical, emotional and financial burdens that come with their diagnosis.

Promising to be an unforgettable two days of world class golf and outstanding hospitality, the Abu Dhabi Invitational is renowned as one of the most prestigious Pro-Celebrity tournaments in the world. Each professional and each celebrity is paired with a VIP guest and the teams will compete against each other in a Ryder Cup Fourball format.

For all the latest action, keep up to date on our website (http://www.abudhabiinvitational.ae/) or via our Twitter (@ADInvitational) and Instagram (@adinvitational) #unforgettable #ADI2018