ABU DHABI: The inaugural edition of the Sultan Bin Zayed Cup will take place at the state-of-art Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.
The tournament will be held in memory of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed, younger brother of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who served as the President’s Representative and died in 2019.
The event will be held under the generous patronage of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.
The draw ceremony for the prestigious competition was held at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club on Monday in the presence of His Excellency, Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, His Excellency Nasser Al Shamsi, captain Ghantoot team, and the representatives of other teams.
The 14-day-long (4-6 handicap) tournament will see the participation of seven teams, including the hosts, who are fielding two teams Ghantoot A and B, Abu Dhabi, Bin Drai, RA Noon, Ankora, Sarissa Mo. All the participating seven boast a mix of the best Emirati and international players.
Keeping the Sheikh Sultan’s memory alive, the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club management named Field number 1 at the club as Sultan Bin Zayed field during the last season.
Speaking after the draw, Zaabi said naming the tournament as Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Cup is a way of paying tribute to him.
“Sheikh Sultan had a great love for his nation and worked relentlessly towards preserving its rich heritage. He had a special passion for heritage and loved falconry. Sheikh Sultan also had a great
passion for camels — an animal he had for long regarded as an important symbol of the UAE’s heritage. His humanitarian actions and generosity touched many people of all nationalities and religions.
Zaabi wished good luck to all the participating teams. “We look forward to seeing some exciting matches being played at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.”
Speaking about the event, Zaabi said: “This meticulously-planned tournament is expected to exhibit polo of a very high order, with great depth in ponies as well as depth in players’ skill on show.
“The event aims to throw up some enthralling polo as well as celebrate UAE heritage and tradition, a veritable treat for lovers of the kingly sport,” he added.
The tournament will take place behind closed doors in line with the UAE’s Covid-19 precautionary and preventive measures.
Abu Dhabi Sports Council will be the governing partner of the tournament in collaboration with Emirates Polo Association.
Capex.com and Yas International Properties LLC is the official sponsor of the Sultan Bin Zayed Cup.