Representatives of participating teams pose for a picture with Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi after the draw ceremony.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
Celebrating 21 years of continuous success and providing a platform to emerging Emirati talents, the UAE’s only Royal Polo Club will open its doors for the biggest event of their calendar.
The country’s best players will be joined by professionals from across the globe as they compete in the 21st edition of HH President of UAE Polo Cup, being held from March 18-27. The event carries a prize purse of a whopping Dhs500,000.
The coveted competition will be held in the name of The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and under the patronage of Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.
HH President of UAE Polo Cup, considered to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in Asia and the Middle East, sees four 18-goal teams composed of top Emirati and international players compete on the magnificent green fields of the iconic Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club (GRPC).
Participating teams are Ghantoot Polo, Yas International Holding Polo, Habtoor Polo and Abu Dhabi Polo.
The 18-handicap tournament is a round-robin league with the two top teams qualifying for the grand finals.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year forced the organisers to postpone the previous edition of the event midway. Due to the ongoing global health implications of the coronavirus and precautionary measures being implemented by the UAE government, the current edition of the competition will be held behind closed doors.
“We are in high spirits about hosting our high-goal tournament after a long withdrawal from sporting events in the past year. We will be seeing new and returning faces on the polo field in the coming days,” said Sheikh Falah.
“This edition of the HH President of UAE Polo Cup is more special as we are marking the 21st anniversary of the event. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our patrons, partners and sponsors for being with us for the past two decades,” added Sheikh Falah.
All the matches will be played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), under strict international supervision according to the HPA rules and provision of its umpires.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that Ghantoot is all set to host the historic 21st edition of the HH President of the UAE Polo Club,” said Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi, Executive Director of the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.
“This tournament is globally recognised and puts UAE at the forefront of the international polo circuit. We can all look forward to two weeks of high-quality action with some of the top polo players, together with some of the leading players from Argentina, and around the world competing for the honours. Good luck to all the teams participating,” he added.
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, established Ghantoot Polo Club in 1994 as the only Royal facility in the UAE. Today the patron of the Ghantoot Polo team, his son Sheikh Falah, continues his legacy through his love of the sport.
Desert Palm won the 2019 edition of the HH President of the UAE Cup after beating UAE Polo Team 10-8 in a thrilling final.
Ghantoot Polo team will be among the favourites this year as on Friday they lifted the IFZA Gold Cup 2021 following their victory over UAE Polo in the final at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.
This was the second big title of the season for Ghantoot after they clinched the Emirates Polo Championship International in December 2020.
The governing partner for the HH President of the UAE Cup is Abu Dhabi Sports Council and it’s being held in association with the Emirates Polo Association. Event sponsors include Yas TV, Al ittihad and Capex.com. Fans can catch the action live at the official website of the tournament -- www.presidentpolocup.ae
The 21st edition of the HH President of UAE Polo Cup, considered to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in Asia and the Middle East, will begin at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club on Thursday.
Hosts Ghantoot kicked off their campaign with 9-6 win over Yas Holding Polo as the 21st edition of the HH President of UAE Polo Cup, considered to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in Asia and the Middle East, got off to a
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