Members of UAE delegation along with FIP celebrate after winning the bid to host 2026 XIII FIP Polo World Championship.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The hosting right of the 2026 XIII FIP World Championship was awarded to UAE on Saturday. The announcement was made during a general assembly meeting of the Federation of International Polo (FIP) taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
UAE Polo Federation won after a strong competition with other contenders, including the Nigerian Polo Federation and the Saudi Arabian Polo Federation.
Piero Dillier, President of the Federation of International Polo, initiated the meeting by discussing the agenda.
Later, he announced the name of UAE as the host country for the 2026 XIII FIP World Championship.
The attendees unanimously agreed to award the tournament to the UAE Polo Federation. The celebration continued with a documentary about polo in the Emirates, and congratulations poured in for the country’s delegation led by Saeed Bin Drai, Vice President of the UAE Polo Federation.
Mohammed Khalaf Al Habtoor, the President of the UAE Polo Federation, expressed his immense joy at winning the bid to host the 2026 XIII FIP World Championship.
He attributed the success to the efforts of the polo community and the dedicated work of the federation's board. Habtoor emphasized the unity and teamwork that led to this achievement, stating that everyone stood together as one.
Habtoor extended his gratitude to the General Sports Authority, headed by Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, the Minister of Education and Chairman of the General Sports Authority, as well as to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dubai Sports Council, and the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai for their support and collaboration.
He also thanked Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of Ghantoot Polo Club, and Sheikha Meitha Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, strong supporters of the sport.
Habtoor expressed his appreciation to the Al Habtoor Polo Club, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Desert Palm Polo Club, and the entire board of the federation for their contributions to the global status of UAE polo.
Drai described his happiness as indescribable, considering the UAE's success in hosting the biggest event in the history of polo.
He credited the General Sports Authority, sports councils, and the UAE Polo Federation for working together towards this success.
Drai congratulated the UAE Embassy in Argentina for their significant support, led by Ambassador Saeed Abdullah Al Qamzi. He also wished for collective efforts to begin preparing for the hosting with the same spirit and strength.
Rashid Al Hamoudi, the First Secretary of the UAE Embassy in Argentina, expressed his happiness at the UAE's victory in hosting the 2026 XIII FIP World Championship. He praised the national federations and teams for their efforts in promoting the UAE's name and flag on the global stage.
Waleed Bin Marhoon, a member of the delegation, conveyed congratulations to the UAE Polo Federation for winning the hosting bid. He acknowledged the efforts of the Federation and the delegation, expressing that this success was not surprising given the dedication of UAE sports organisations.
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