By Gonzalo Etcheverry
The 18-goal Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open), enters its seventh year under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The series is the highest rated polo tournament in the UAE.
At a press conference held on Monday, January 18 at The St. Regis Dubai at Al Habtoor City, the organising committee conducted a live draw for the McLaren Cup 2016. The Dubai Open has been split into two tournaments, starting with the McLaren Cup 2016, which runs from Friday January 22 – Friday February 5. The second tournament, the Julius Baer Gold Cup, starts on Friday, February 19 and runs though to Friday March 11.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is the fourth-largest tournament of its kind outside of Argentina, the US and the UK. Founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the tournament is the premier regional polo competition of the year, attracting VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from across the GCC. It has grown in tandem with the city of Dubai and since 2012, it is the only tournament in the UAE to be recognized and certified by the World Polo Tour (WPT). The Gold Cup is played according to Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) rules, and the umpires are managed under strict international supervision by the HPA.
Mohammed Al Habtoor, founder of the tournament and patron of the Habtoor Polo team stated: “;This year there are nine teams playing in the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, further evidence that the competition is picking up momentum. The Dubai Open has helped put the UAE on the world polo circuit. Each year the competition gets better and better, and we attract some of the best polo players in the world.”
The participating teams will host some of the top-ranking World Polo Tour players, including Pablo Mac Donough, 10-goal superstar and three time winner of the Argentine Triple Crown with La Dolfina; Lucas Montverde (9); Guillermo Terrera (8), Alfredo Cappella Barabucci (8); Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8), and many others.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup will be held at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in Arabian Ranches.