International Polo Celebrated at Saudi Arabia’s First Official Polo Tournament
AlUla Desert Polo, the first tournament in Saudi Arabia to be held in cooperation with the Saudi Polo Federation, is to make its debut on January 16-18, 2020 as part of the Winter at Tantora cultural festival.
Cradled against the backdrop of one of Arabia’s best kept secrets - the exquisite UNESCO heritage site in AlUla that will officially open to the public in October 2020
- AlUla Desert Polo represents a milestone in Saudi Arabia’s sporting and social journey.
A new concept in world polo and inspired by the prestigious snow polo tournament held in St Moritz, Switzerland, Desert Polo will feature some of the most renowned players and patrons in the world of polo.
Organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla in partnership with the Saudi Polo Federation, Desert Polo is one of the highlights of the three-month long Winter at Tantora festival, running from December to March and held in the historic and untouched region.
Amr F Zedan, Chairman of the Saudi Polo Federation and an international polo patron said: “This tournament is a celebration of the transformational journey that we are making in Saudi Arabia.
“Our goal in promoting this extraordinary event is twofold. We want to tap into the undiscovered sporting talent that we know exists among young Saudi men and women and encourage greater levels of participation in our sport. We are also proud to use sport, and polo in particular, as a vehicle to showcase a truly unique destination and an incredible overall experience to the world. Saudi Arabia has the capability, the infrastructure and, crucially, the will, to stage major events on the world stage and Desert Polo is just one example of this.”
Amr AlMadani, the CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, welcomed the addition of Desert Polo to the prestigious and exciting roster of weekend events on the Winter at Tantora calendar: “AlUla is a place that sums up to the world the rich and as yet widely undiscovered culture within Saudi Arabia,” he said. “A major contributor to the heritage in this part of the world is our peoples’ connection to the horse. Therefore, it is symbolic that we are showcasing the progress of modern day Saudi Arabia here, in one of our most significant cultural sites.”
Winter at Tantora is offering two special polo package, for one day or three days featuring a special “Introduction to Polo” clinic. It includes a 1-hour introduction clinic to Polo, with a maximum limit of 10-per-day (first-come first-serve basis).
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, while reflecting the transformational journey taking place in Saudi Arabia.