Team SOCRAT finishes first on Day 2 of Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge

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Team SOCRAT proved to be the winner in Day 2 of the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge.

The second day of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge ended at Shams Solar Power Station this evening, with Team SOCRAT crossing the line first after a 325km drive across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

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The UAE team Petroleum Institute, who set of in the lead this morning, came in second just behind the leaders from Istanbul. Crossing the line first in solar car challenges does not guarantee winning the stage – any time penalties incurred will be added to the overall time at the end of the day.

Travelling from Turkey to take part in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, SOCRAT were delighted with their progress so far. Serdar Zurnaci, driver, said: “We have had a good couple of days and everything has gone according to plan.

"We drove well today, and are pleased with our first position. The roads were often tricky, with city and desert driving. We still have a way to go but we have a good shot at winning. We have worked extremely hard for this

“We thank every member of the team for all their hard work and togetherness!"

The teams left Shams early this morning, travelling towards Liwa, via Hameem, before turning back on to finish at Shams.

The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge is the first International Solarcar Federation (ISF) sanctioned event to be held in the Middle East.

It is sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and hosted by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar, as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Organisers are encouraging the public to attend all stopovers for a chance to see the cars up close and personal and meet the teams.

Stopover points are as follows: 19thJanuary: 8:30am at the multipurpose Arena at Zayed Sports City and 10am at World Future Energy Summit at ADNEC.

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Qatar hosts World Handball Championship at Lusail

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The final list of groups of the contending countries during the 24th Men's Handball World Championship official draw in Doha.

Qatar will look to put its best foot forward when it hosts the World Handball Championship at the newly-developed city of Lusail.

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The tournament provides a chance for Qatar to show it can successfully manage a top-class event, as it prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Twenty-four teams will contest for a cup made of pure gold during the event that takes place between January 15 and February 1. France, Denmark and Spain are among the favourites and Qatar’s national team is predicted to make the quarter-finals.

But it is what happens off the handball court that is arguably far more important for Qatar’s sporting ambitions.

The tournament is an opportunity to reverse the negative press which has surrounded its sporting ambitions, said Simon Chadwick, professor of sports business strategy at Coventry University.

“The established perception needs to be changed and reversed,” he said.

“What Qatar needs is tangible proof that its strategy of investing in sport events is working.”

“The handball provides an opportunity for people to get to know Qatar for running high-profile sporting events rather than being a country in the desert with lots of money and accused over FIFA scandals,” Chadwick added.

It is the Lusail Multipurpose Hall which will provide that litmus test for Qatar’s aspirations. The opening ceremony, opening game, final and many of the major games will be played at the hall, a dome-like $300 million (Dh1.1bn) structure.

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Julius Baer to sponsor the Dubai Gold Cup 2015

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World’s fourth-largest polo tournament to bring together the best local and international talent.

Julius Baer, the leading Swiss private banking group, has announced that it will be the title and a team sponsor for the Dubai Gold Cup 2015, part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series.

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The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is the fourth-largest tournament of its kind and will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Now in its sixth year, the event will see some of the most talented international and local players, including Alejandro Muzzio, Pablo Mac Donough, and Lucas Monterverde, compete for the trophy.

Taking place at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club at the Arabian Ranches, the Series will be split into two tournaments, beginning with the McLaren Cup from 23rd January to 06th February, and the Julius Baer Gold Cup, taking place from 23rd February to 13th March 2015.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Daniel Savary, Head of Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa (EMMEA), Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd, said: “We are proud to partner with the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series and to support this prestigious tournament, which is line with our focus on polo and is also indicative of our long-term commitment to the UAE.

"Having celebrated our tenth anniversary in the country last year and grown to become a leading provider of private banking services in the market, our emphasis on sponsoring important cultural activities here stems from our recognition of its value to the local community and our clients.”

The bank was previously the title sponsor of the Julius Baer Beach Polo Cup from 2013 to 2014, and the Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge from 2010 to 2012. Launched in 2009, the Dubai Polo Gold Cup has grown to become the region’s premier polo competition, and attracts leading VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from across the GCC.

The tournament has grown in tandem with the city of Dubai and in 2012, it was recognised by the World Polo Tour (WPT). Last year the competition was the highest WPT tournament in points within the Challenge Cup Category and in this year the Gold Cup went up from Challenge Cup to World Polo Tour Cup, winners receiving 60 points.

Held under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the Gold Cup is played according to HPA rules and the provision of umpires is managed under strict international supervision of the HPA.

A total of ten teams will participate in the renowned event, including the world’s best polo teams and the most respected names from the sport. Participating teams include:

UAE Polo Team – Patron HH Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Ghantoot Polo Team – Patron HH Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan  

Julius Baer Team by Al Habtoor – Patron Mohammed Al Habtoor

Bin Drai Polo Team – Patron Saeed Bin Drai 

Mahra Polo – Patron Rashid Al Habtoor

Abu Dhabi Polo Team – Patron Faris Al Yabhouni

Zedan Polo Team – Patron Amr Zedan

Desert Palm Dubai Polo Team 1– Patron Rashid Al Bawardi

Desert Palm Dubai Polo Team 2 – Patron Tariq Al Bawardi

Edrees Polo Team  – Patron Sultan Edrees  

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