After two furious matchdays, team VistaJet Bombardier with Mohammed Al Habtoor (0), his son Habtoor Al Habtoor (0) and Guillermo Cuitino (+6) won the final on Saturday against the team of title sponsor Julius Baer with Rashid Al Habtoor (0), Khalaf Al Habtoor (0) and Juan Cruz Guevara (+6) by 8-4 and is winning team of the 2014 Julius Bär Beach Polo Cup Dubai.
Beach polo was launched in Dubai in 2004 and celebrates this year its 10th anniversary. After a break of six years, the event returned last year to its home country. For this year’s anniversary chukkas, the organizers came up with something very special: For the first time the matches were played under floodlight.
A total of four teams competed against each other in the specially produced beach polo arena which was built this year for the first time at the stunning location of the Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina.
The final between the teams VistaJet Bombardier and Julius Bär came to an exciting battle of the brothers. Rashid Al Habtoor, leader of the Dubai Polo Club and winner of the Beach Polo Cup Dubai in 2013, saddled up for Julius Bär, while his brother Mohammed Al Habtoor participated for VistaJet Bombardier. Mohammed Al Habtoor isn’t a beach polo newcomer either: the 0-goaler won the first three editions of the tournament in the years 2004 to 2006.
At the beginning of the final both teams were equally strong, after the first chukka the score was a tie with 1-1. But in the second chukka VistaJet Bombardier took the lead with 3-2 and extended its lead until the end of the third chukka to 5-2. Julius Bär gave it all to catch up and it followed a hard-fought fourth chukka. The effort of Julius Bär came along with three goals by VistaJet Bombardier and so they won the title by 8-4.
VistaJet Bombardier patron, Mohammed Al Habtoor said after the victory of this team: “I was on the winning team for the first three renewals of Beach Polo although we lost it last year in Dubai, so to win against such strong opponents, who were also the defending champions, is a fantastic end to the UAE polo season. It’s great to lift the trophy in the 10th anniversary year. We are very happy with this result.”
Team Maradiva was placed third and got the last place on the podium by winning against team Lindt by 9-6.
During the two days the event was followed by an excited crowd with about 6,000 viewers. Many familiar faces were in the audience, among others HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nayhan, Dr Ahmed Al Sherif, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council and celebrities like actors Tyrese Gibson and Michelle Rodriguez were spotted.
Sam Katiela, Beach Polo organiser and founder of mamemo productions said: “We are very proud of the success of this event. Over the last decade this concept has really put Dubai and the UAE on the top of polo world map. We have been able to stage a world-class event, organised, managed and created by companies in the UAE and this is a formula which has been transported all over the world. We feel that this special 10th anniversary celebration of Beach Polo really does justice to the popular concept and we’d like to thank everyone involved in making this weekend possible.”
1. VistaJet Bombardier Team (+6)
Mohammed Al Habtoor (0)
Habtoor Al Habtoor (0)
Guillermo Cuitino (+6)
2. Julius Bär Team (+6)
Rashid Al Habtoor (0)
Khalaf Al Habtoor (0)
Juan Cruz Guevara (+6)
3. Maradiva Team (+6)
Saeed bin Drai (0)
Mohammed bin Drai (0)
Nico Petracchi (+6)
4. Lindt Master Swiss Chocolatiers Team (+6)
Mr. Piero Dillier (0)
Dr. Thomas M. Rinderknecht (0)
Lucas Labat (+6)