The opening Rolex Series event of 2020 takes place in Abu Dhabi, and is the first of three successive lucrative European Tour stops in the Persian Gulf.
World No 1 Brooks Koepka heads a typically strong field at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where last year's Open winner Shane Lowry is the defending champion.
This will be the 15th time that Abu Dhabi Golf Club has hosted the event, with eight members of the world's top-25 teeing up in Thursday's opening round.
And with a total prize fund of $7m on offer, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is one of just eight tournaments to enjoy Rolex Series status.
Koepka returns from injury to make his first competitive start since the middle of October and is one of three high-profile Americans in the field.
The others are world No 6 Patrick Cantlay - who makes his Abu Dhabi debut - and Bryson DeChambeau.
Cantlay was fourth in Hawaii two weeks ago while DeChambeau tasted European Tour success in the region, last year, when he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by a whopping seven strokes.
But the European challenge is strong too: Lowry arrives on the back of a runner-up finish in Hong Kong on Sunday, with world No 10 Tommy Fleetwood chasing a third victory in this event.
Fleetwood ended 22 frustrating months by winning at Sun City in November, and followed that up with a runner-up finish at the season-ending event in Dubai (DP Tour World Championship). He will celebrate his 29th birthday next Sunday.
Among those with a decent course history in Abu Dhabi are Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Pablo Larrazabal, Joost Luiten and Thomas Pieters.
Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, who finished first and second respectively in the South African Open on Sunday, tee it up again.
Oosthuizen has posted three top-five finishes, from his last four trips to Abu Dhabi, albeit over an 11-year time span.
Check out latest betting ahead of this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Last season's rising star Robert MacIntyre will hope to start the new year as he ended 2019.
The young Scot reached No 64 in the World Ranking, in what was his first full season on the European Tour.
He finished runner-up three times and ended last season 10th in the category Strokes Gained: Off The Tee - which proves he is no slouch with the driver.
Since opening 22 years ago, this Peter Harradine-designed layout has undergone a number of changes - mainly around the greens.
Much of this work has been carried out to create more challenging pin positions on what is generally a flat course.
The putting surfaces in Abu Dhabi are some of the fastest on Tour, while water comes into play on 10 holes.
There is also plenty of sand and dog-legs and, although the fairways tend to be slightly narrower than the Tour average, the big hitters have often prospered here.
The Abu Dhabi event has a history of close finishes. Although there has never been a play-off, the winning margin in 11 of the previous 14 editions has been a single stroke.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves