The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open), an 18 Goal Handicap competition, enters its seventh year under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The tournament is now the highest handicap in the UAE. At the press conference on Monday, January 18, 2016 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, 2016 to Friday February 5, 2016. The second tournament, the Julius Baer Gold Cup, commences on Friday, February 19, 2016 to Friday March 11, 2016.
First founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 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 recognized 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.
Mohammed Al Habtoor, Founder of the tournament and patron of the Habtoor Polo team said, “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, 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 will be held at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in Arabian Ranches.
Six polo teams will be participating in the McLaren Cup 2016 18-goal handicap:
· Mahra Polo – Patron: Rashid Al Habtoor
· Bin Drai Polo Team – Patron: Saeed Bin Drai
· Habtoor Polo Team – Patron: Mohammed Al Habtoor
· UAE Polo Team – Patron: Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
· Zedan Polo Team – Patron: Amr Zedan
· Habtoor Wolves Polo Team – Patron: Ahmed Mohammed Al Habtoor / Khalaf Rashid Al Habtoor
About Dubai Polo Gold Cup
The DPGC Series has wrapped up its latest season with resounding success. Each year the tournament reaches new heights. In 2012 the Dubai Gold Cup Series was recognized by the World Polo Tour (WPT) and in January 2014 the WPT committee announce that the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series’ has enabled it’s important tournament (Gold Cup) for being the highest tournament in points within the Challenge Cup category by raising to 50 points for the winners. The certificate of entry was presented by the international polo. In 2015 marked the first time ever that the World Polo Tour (WPT) upgraded the Tournament from ‘Challenge Cup’ to the highly coveted ‘WPT Cup’, meaning winners received 60 points. The 18 goal handicap competition is now the highest handicapped event in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, ranking it among the best polo tournaments worldwide.