Dubai, UAE, December 6, 2017: The 2017-2018 Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club season moves into top gear when the UAE's only Royal Polo Club hosts the prestigious 17th Emirates Open Polo Championship International this month.
Officially presented by Maserati – Premier Motors, the tournament starts on Sunday, December 10 and culminates in the grand final on Friday, December 22.
The Emirates Open is widely regarded as one of the region's most important polo events as it attracts some of the world's top professional players.
Five leading teams will compete in the 14 goal handicap level tournament which was first held in 2000.
Teams participating in this year's Emirates Open are the Maserati Polo Team, Habtoor Polo Team, Desert Palm Polo Team, Abu Dhabi Polo Team and UAE Polo Team.
Commenting on Premier Motor's principal sponsorship of the high-level event, Helal Hanei Omar, Vice President, Premier Motors, “Premier Motors, the official Maserati dealer in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to be associated with the Emirates Open Polo Championship being held as part of the 2017-18 season at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club.
“Having a Maserati team, captained by the seasoned Emirati international polo player Abdullah bin Dasmal, participating in the tournament will definitely add more excitement to this prestigious competition. We encourage all equestrian sport fans to come and enjoy this fantastic event.”
Jason Hughes, ADS Securites Head of Retail Sales, commented: “The Emirates Open Polo Championship is the event everyone has been waiting for.
“It is the first year we have sponsored this tournament and we are very excited to be part of what will be a fabulous few days of polo.”
Nehme Imad Darwiche, Group CEO, Jannah Hotels & Resorts, welcomed His Highness Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, its sponsors and guests on board.
“It is our pleasure to support the 17th edition of the Emirates Open Polo Championship at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, which is one of the most successful and fastest growing sports institution of the UAE,” he said.
“The vision of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club is a strong and inspiring one and we hope to assist the progress of the institution within the UAE and the GCC. We are honoured to partner with an event of such grand stature and one that develops Abu Dhabi's role as a leading sports hub of the region,” Darwiche added.
HE Saeed Bin Houfan Al Mansour, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club said: “I would like to thank all our sponsors and patrons for their continued and faithful support of Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club and its activities.”
Schedule and key players
The qualification matches for the Emirates Open will kick-off on Sunday, December with back-to-back games at 4.00pm and 5.30pm.
Abdullah Bin Dasmal will lead the Maserati Polo Team which also comprises experienced Argentinan professionals Lucas Diaz Alberdi, who plays with a handicap of +6 goal goals, Gregorio Gelosi (+4) and Felipe Llorente (+4).
Shaikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a former Olympian in taekwondo and Asian Games gold medallist in karate, is now an accomplished polo player who will lead the UAE Polo Team.
The team also comprises Argentine's Matias Benoit, who plays with a handicap of +6 goals, and fellow countrymen Ignacio Acuna (+5) and Pablo Avalos (+2)
- Abu Dhabi Sports Council – Governing Partner
- Maserati – Premier Motors – the official Car for the 2017-2018 season who are presenting the Emirates Open Polo Cup International for the second year.
- ADS Securities – Sponsors of HH President of UAE Polo Cup in 2018
- Jannah Hotels and Resorts – the official Hotel for the 2017-2018 season and sponsors of one of the team on the UAE Red Crescent Polo Charity exhibition game on December 8.
- YAS International Properties – Sponsor from Abu Dhabi
- Anfasic Dokhoon – Official Sponsor who are also sponsoring a team on the UAE Red Crescent Polo Charity Exhibition on December 8.
- Premier Events Management – Official sponsor
- Prestige Gourmet Catering – Official Sponsor
- YAS TV – Official Media Partner
- The Galleria Mall on Maryah Island
Three things to Know about Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club
- Polo horses are known as polo ponies and they are Argentina breed.
- Ghantoot horses are polo ponies that are privately owned by Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club.
- Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club have a breeding section which is the only one of its kind in the Middle East dedicated to breeding polo ponies.
Entrance & Activities
- Entrance is free for the public to the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club.
- There will be a huge heritage Village showing the 7 emirates of the UAE.
- Free food and traditional entertainment will be on offer for all visitors.
- In addition, there will be food court available with different dishes
- Various entertainment shows will take place on the sidelines of the tournament.
- A free Raffle will be held for all comers with amazing prizes on offer.