The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be part of next year’s Rolex Series of leading golf tournaments.

The tournament, which takes place at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club each January, will now offer increased prize money of $7 million.

The event has been part of the PGA European Tour since 2006 but will now form part of the tour’s prestigious Rolex Series of tournaments which award higher prize money.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will take the place of the Open de France, which will return to regular PGA European Tour status.

The other seven tournaments in the Rolex Series will remain the same.

The change will expand the timing of the Rolex Series, which previously ran between May and November, to span almost the entire length of the PGA European Tour.

The Rolex Series was established in 2017 and allows events on the Tour to award much higher prize money.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, welcomed the news of the event’s promotion to the top tier of golfing tournaments.

“Since its inauguration, the event has played an increasingly significant role in developing Abu Dhabi’s impressive sports portfolio and has now become one of the jewels in its crown,” he said.

“Residents and visitors have come to expect only the very best quality action as the top sports stars from all around the world continue to flow into Abu Dhabi to showcase their talent.”

English golfer Tommy Fleetwood won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in both 2017 and 2018, and said: “I think it is one of the strongest events on tour and it so deserves its place on the Rolex Series and I know this will be a popular decision amongst the players.

“I love everything about Abu Dhabi, from the course to the hotels to the restaurants and, of course, returning as the defending champion. I can’t wait to be back in January.”

The 2019 edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, presented by Emirates Global Aluminium, will run from 16-19 January 2019.