The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series has wrapped up its latest season with resounding success, with 2015 the first time ever that the World Polo Tour (WPT) upgraded the tournament from ‘Challenge Cup’ to ‘WPT Cup’ status, meaning winners received 60 points.
The 18-goal handicap competition is now the highest handicapped event in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, ranking it among the best polo tournaments worldwide.
First founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the tournament has grown in tandem with the city of Dubai. It is now the premier regional polo competition of the year, and attracts VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from across the GCC.
The event is broken down into two tournaments; The McLaren Silver Cup, which was won by Ghantoot for the second year running, and the Julius Baer Gold Cup, which was claimed by Zedan polo for the first time.
Julius Baer Gold Cup 2015 http://t.co/0kLpzTqboX
— Rashid Al Habtoor (@rashidalhabtoor) April 15, 2015
The Zedan team included Pablo MacDonough, who is a two-time ‘Triple Crown Champion with La Dolfina’.
Habtoor Polo, led by Mohammed Al Habtoor, won the Hildon Cup this year, which is part of the McLaren Silver Cup, while Abu Dhabi Team took the Bentley Cup, which is played alongside the Gold Cup.
A total of 10 teams took part in the competition, including UAE Polo Team, whose patron is Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Dubai Gold Cup Series, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA).
Mohammed Al Habtoor, Founder of the Tournament said, “The Dubai Gold Cup Series gets better and better each year. In a short space of time, The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series has become the highest handicapped tournament in the region.
“The tournament, which started off as a 10-12 goal handicap in 2010, to a 16 goal handicap in 2014, has now increased even further to an 18-goal handicap this year. This shows that Dubai is now firmly on the world map as a polo destination.”
— Dubai Polo Gold Cup (@DubaiGoldCup) April 10, 2015
2015 marked the start of a new polo tournament, organized by Mohammed Al Habtoor – The Dubai Cup 2015, a medium tournament with an 8-10 goal handicap which was won by Bin Drai Polo.
Mohammed Al Habtoor added, “Credit has to go to all the patrons and the team who have supported the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series. We have received tremendous support from the participating team over the years which has helped elevate the sport in Dubai to a whole new level.”
He added, “We have big plans for the future of both the Dubai Gold Cup Series and Dubai Cup. Plus, in 2016 we will see the opening of the St. Regis Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. This will be a great new addition to the Dubai polo circuit and the equestrian community as a whole.”
Habtoor Polo topped the table with 92 points, followed by Ghantoot Polo with 88. Abu Dubai Polo is third with 72 points.
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Bin Drai Polo Team is the first champion of the Dubai Cup Polo Tournament after defeating UAE Polo Team in today´s final by 10.5 goals to 6.
Team made by Rashid and Mohammed Bin Drai, Nicolás Petracchi and Raúl Laplacette was the deserved champion of the first edition of this medium goal tournament held at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club and played under the patronage of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series.
Habtoor Polo won the subsidiary final after defeating Mahra by 9 goals to 7.
Matches Progression: Final Bin Drai: 3.5-1/ 5.5-2/ 7.5-5/ 10.5-6 Subsidiary Final Habtoor Polo: 1-2/ 4-3/ 7-5/ 9-7 Mohammed Al
Habtoor, Founder of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, promoted this new medium goal tournament in addition to the polo circuit in Dubai.
“I launched the Dubai Polo Gold Cup in 2009 and it has grown into one of the most prestigious – and highest handicap – polo events in the region.
Tournaments like these enhance Dubai’s position as a leading polo destination”, said Mohammed Al Habtoor, Patron of the Habtoor Polo team.
The medium goal tournament, 8-10 goal handicap, was held at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club from Monday April 6, 2015 to Friday April 10, 2015.
Talented players from all over the world will be in action when the Beach Polo Cup Dubai returns this weekend – and with plenty of entertainment for all ages, there is still time to grab tickets for an event that has something for everyone.
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Four of the best sides – Team Vista Jet Bombardier, Team Cadillac (Middle East), Team Lindt and Team Autism Rocks – will battle for top honours at the two-day tournament, which runs from 16:00 at Skydive Dubai.
Apart from taking in the action on the 50x100m field, spectators can enjoy a wide range of activities including a spectacular fireworks and laser show as well as live bands. For children, a special kids zone has been built.
“Whatever kids love to do, they will experience it on the day. There will be popcorn, a bouncy castle and they will also have the opportunity to paint some ponies,” said Sam Katiela, managing and creative director of Mamemo Productions and founder and organiser of the event.
On top of that, you could even be walking away with some fantastic prizes with a charity auction and raffle set to take place.
On the field, spectators can expect to see some intriguing matches.
— Beach Polo Cup (@BeachPoloCup) April 9, 2015
Each team will have three players, including UAE and international competitors. Representing the UAE are Saoud Khoory, who has been playing polo since the age of 14, and Tariq and Rashid Albwardy, sons of Ali Albwardy, owner of the Desert Palm Polo Club.
Promising player Rashid will line up for Team Vista Jet Bombardier, who enter the tournament as defending champions.
Khoory will play for Team Autism Rocks, while Tariq will be among the players in Team Cadillac (Middle East).
Among the international players are Argentina’s Martin Valent (Team Vista Jet Bombardier), Matias Machado (Team Cadillac) and German veteran Uwe Zimmermann, who between them have over 20 years of experience playing polo.
“Polo is a very entertaining sport and the guests will be quite close to the action as it’s a small field,” explained Katiela.
“They will feel the action and get a very good view of all the matches. We are sure that people will soon gain an interest in the sport as the players will give their best because it’s a prestigious tournament.”
Now in its 11th year, the event has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon and is now held in over 30 cities around the world.
In 2014, more than 4,500 people descended on Skydive Dubai and Katiela expects this weekend to be no different.
“It will be a great moment to enjoy the spirit of a very passionate and action-filled sport,” added Katiela.
“I’m sure people will be amazed by what they see as there will be some unique shows on both days.
“With it being held at Skydive Dubai, in a state-of-the-art venue along with top hospitality, entertainment and polo matches of the highest quality, it’s worth visiting because there’s plenty of activities that will keep families busy.”