The start of the AlUla Desert Polo tournament was played out against some of the most unique scenery in the world on Friday as a host of VIP guests witnessed Saudi Arabian history in the making.
Held as part of the Winter at Tantora festival, AlUla Desert Polo marks the first official tournament to be staged in The Kingdom and is also the first time Desert Polo has been played anywhere in the world.
Visitors from both Saudi Arabia and overseas flew into the UNESCO World Heritage site of AlUla to watch the ten goal handicapped players from Argentina’s La Dolfina as well as the six-goal Ralph Lauren model, Nacho Figueras.
Winter at Tantora, held from December 19, 2019 to March 7, 2020 showcases an ancient UNESCO world heritage site through a three-month calendar of world class cultural, musical and sporting events.
Home to archeological treasures, natural beauty and magnificent monuments that span millennia, AlUla is set on the ancient incense route between Southern Arabia and Egypt.
Cradled in a circle of sandstone outcrops, the specially built Desert Arena was the venue the first match of the day which saw Team AlUla, led by Argentine great Adolfo Cambiaso, clash with Al Nahla Bentley led by Pelon Stirling. AlUla came out the 4-2 winners, setting up a finals clash with Team Amaala, led by Figueras.
Team Amaala sealed a place in the final after recording a 7-2 victory over Team Richard Mille thanks, to the high scoring Figueras who claimed five goals.
Richard Mille will now meet Team Al Nahla Bentley on Saturday at for the third-place playoff.
Amr F Zedan, Chairman of the newly-formed Saudi Polo Federation which organised the event alongside the Royal Commission for AlUla said: “We are very proud to have hosted the first official polo match in Saudi Arabia in AlUla, one of the most unique and untouched places in the world.
“Many of the guests here today would not have visited anywhere like this before and I am thrilled to be able to promote polo in this amazing setting.”
Saturday afternoon features a third place playoff between Team Al Nahla Bentley and Richard Mille as well as the Grand Final between Team AlUla led by Cambiaso and Team Amaala captained by Figueras.
1- HRH Prince Abbas bin Ali Bin Nayef
2- Mohammad Al Habtoor
3- Adolfo Cambiaso
1- HRH Prince Sultan Alfaisal
2- Amr Zedan
3- Pablo Mac Donough
Al Nahla Bentley
1- Sheikha Alya Al Maktoum
2- Saad Audeh
3- Pelon Stirling
1- HSH Prince Carl of Oettingen-Wallerstein
2- George Spencer Churchill
3- Nacho Figeuras
Notes to Editors
About Winter at Tantora Festival
Winter at Tantora is a festival in AlUla County in North-West Saudi Arabia, a place of extraordinary natural beauty and cultural heritage. Running from 19th December 2019 to 7th March 2020, Winter at Tantora will bring 12-weekends of wonder to the AlUla Oasis, inspired by its spectacular scenery. Home to archeological treasures, natural beauty and magnificent monuments that span millennia, AlUla is set on the ancient incense route between Southern Arabia and Egypt. It became a hub of commercial and cultural exchange because a lush oasis valley ran through it, creating an ideal environment for civilizations to flourish.
About The Saudi Polo Federation
The Saudi Polo Federation (SPF) was established in July 2018 as a means of developing the sport across The Kingdom and establishing international best practice from grass roots to elite levels. Aligned with key government stakeholders such as the General Sports Authority,
the SPF works to further establish Saudi polo in a global context, continuing the work already undertaken by Saudi’s private polo patrons on the international stage.
Chaired by renowned Saudi polo player and businessman, Amr Zedan, the SPF seeks to encourage the sport among young Saudi men and women in accordance with the goals set out in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, wh