The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, an 18-goal handicap competition, will take place in January, February and March in two phases at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in Arabian Ranches, it was announced at a media conference at The St. Regis Dubai at Al Habtoor City, on Monday.
The event has been split into two tournaments, starting with the McLaren Cup 2016, which runs from Friday, January 22 to Friday, February 5. The second tournament, the Julius Baer Gold Cup, commences on Friday, February 19, and will run till Friday, March 11.
Six lineups representing the Mahra, Bin Drai and Habtoor teams will be participating in the McLaren Cup 2016 18-goal handicap with Rashid Al Habtoor, Saeed Bin Drai and Mohammed Al Habtoor as patrons respectively.
In its seventh year the event is under the Patronage of Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The tournament is now the highest handicap in the UAE.
The participating teams will host some of the top-ranking World Polo Tour players, including Pablo Mac Donough, the 10-goal superstar and two-time ‘Triple Crown Champion with La Dolfina’; Lucas Montverde (9-goal handicap); Guillermo Terrera (8-goal handicap), Alfredo Cappella Barabucci (8-goal handicap) and Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8-goal handicap) and many others.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is the fourth-largest tournament of its kind after Argentina, the US and the UK. First founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the tournament is the premier regional polo competition of the year, and attracts 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 recognised and certified by the World Polo Tour (WPT). It is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), with the Gold Cup being played according to HPA rules and the provision of umpires is managed under strict international supervision by the HPA.