Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai will play host to this celebration of British craft and heritage that debuted in the Emirates in 2009, which has now become a firm fixture in the region’s sporting and social calendar. For the first time, British Polo Day will also showcase the cricketing skills of their players, pitting Eton against Harrow in a friendly but fiercely-competitive match.
On Saturday 19th March, British Polo Day Abu Dhabi will take place at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, the private royal polo ground of HH Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. With guests including members of the ruling family and the British Ambassador, this glamorous black-tie evening will commence with a champagne reception underneath the iconic Harrods flower arch and two rather unusual takes on the traditional game of polo – with the Cavalry team taking on the British Army Guards in an opening game of camel polo. Eager to saddle-up under the spotlights, the InterContinental UAE team and Hackett Rest Of World team will then unfold their British Bromptons for a light-hearted game of bicycle polo
The highlight exhibition polo match of the evening – The British Polo Day Plate – will feature some of the region’s top players as the home team seek to maintain their annual victory against the visiting Royal Salute British Exiles.
Following an official prize-giving, guests will sit down to a three-course dinner followed by a live charity auction for the Women And Health Alliance International, a charity that promotes women and childrens’ health that was launched by Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al-Nahyan. With Lots including a stay on ultra-exclusive Velaa Private Island, a safari of a lifetime to Kenya with The Safari Collection, a special Cigar dinner at Franco’s in London and a luxurious retreat to Royal Mansour Marrakech, BritishPolo Day is keen to raise its current fundraising total of an impressive $1.8million.
On Friday 25th March – the eve of the world-famous Dubai World Cup – British Polo Day Dubai brings a touch of quintessential British equine heritage to the Emirate under the patronage of Mohammed Al Habtoor, the Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Al Habtoor Group at The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.
Opening matches of Cavalry versus Guards camel polo and UAE versus Hackett Rest of World Brompton bicycle polo will precede two highly-anticipated polo matches between Royal Salute Oxbridge and Shangri-La Dubai Gulf Polo and – following which – RJI Capital British Exiles versus the home side: Habtoor Polo.
As is fitting for such a glamorous Dubai setting, the day’s polo will draw to a close with an official prize-giving and fashion show.
Guests of both British Polo Day Abu Dhabi and Dubai will spend the surrounding days at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi and Shangri-La Dubai, with an Eton versus Harrow cricket match, a Taylor Morris Volleyball tournament and a vintage Global Partnership Family Offices Desert Safari in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
Tom Hudson, Co-Founder of British Polo Day, says: “Having begun the British Polo Day concept in the UAE, it is great to celebrate the growth of the platform each year as our UAE events launch the annual series. Each year we bring in more partners that elevate the experience for all guests, and the quality of the polo improves too as we bring fresh talent in. We are pleased to have been part of the growth of poloin the UAE over the last 7 years and also building on the ties that bind our nations.”
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