Polo enthusiasts flocked to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi last weekend for the venue’s first-ever polo match. The event saw four international polo teams representing Abu Dhabi, London, Milan and Buenos Aires, play over two days at a purpose-built polo field amidst the gardens of the Emirates Palace.
A spin-off on the popular London event ‘Polo in the Park’ pioneering the City Polo soon to take place in the other key financial centers of Singapore and Shanghai, the Abu Dhabi match was unusual in that the event took place on a pitch smaller than the regular polo field allowing spectators the ability to get closer to the action. In addition, each team was comprised of three players reduced from the usual four in order to best make use of the smaller space.
The action began with the magnificent ‘Palace dash’ whereby two opponents raced full speed towards each other from opposite ends of the polo pitch to see who could get the ball first. The event proceeded with eager onlookers perched close to field to get a first-hand look at the action. Tied at the end of the fourth ‘chukka’, Hublot team Buenos Aires withstood against the home team favourites who took the match into overtime gaining a final two-point goal in the last minutes and securing the inaugural Coutts Polo.
The final match was watched by a glamorously dressed crowd on the lawns of the Emirates Palace. Enjoying the beautiful weather as well as the UAE capital’s first polo match, guests marveled as Hublot team Buenos Aires captain Mohammed Al-Habtoor was awarded the Coutts Cup by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research at the official prize giving ceremony.