A fitting contest to celebrate the UAE’s 47th National Day saw an Emirates side beat Al Habtoor Polo in a tense final match to win the UAE National Day Cup 2018. Led by team patron, HH Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Emirates national team only just managed to edge Habtoor Polo 7-6 at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club (HPRC). The ten-goal tournament was held in honour of the UAE's 47th National Day, and the HPRC had delivered more than just an action-packed afternoon. The final opened with the call for the UAE National Anthem. Balloons in the colours of the UAE flag were released, and presentation of each player followed.
At the blow of the whistle, the teams engaged in a tight match and the game progressed with teams tied at the end of the first half at 2-2. The game continued with the same intensity as it started with the third chukka ending at 4-4. Habtoor Polo took the lead as Hugo Lewis ran onto a long pass from Tommy Iriate, picked up a bouncing ball in the air and hit a neck shot from 100 yards out on the volley. As the last minutes ensued, UAE Polo was able to score twice with the winning shot achieved just before the buzzer went off, which ensured a sensational finish to what was a pulsating final match. The subsidiary final witnessed Mahra Polo beating a Dubai Wolves/Rhinos Polo side 6-4.5.
Tomas Panelo was awarded the Most Valuable Player and O Hakkinen from Habtoor Polo was the Best Playing Pony. The usual Friday polo picnic, a tailgating tradition that is part of the polo scene, made a lot of polo picnic parkers in UAE-themed cars happy, as they received a pair of La Perle tickets. Visitors relaxed in gazebos and blankets while the little ones enjoyed the dedicated kids area in which the huge bouncy castle and free pony rides proved popular. Food and ice cream trucks were on site ready with their delicious servings. The UAE National Day Cup 2018 was sponsored by Ali Gholami and Gholami & Abedi Vegetables & Fruits LLC and Bentley Eyewear, with its official distributor, Vision & Fashion Group. The Run-n-Hunt prizes and giveaways to polo picnic parkers were sponsored by La Perle by Dragonne, Al Habtoor Polo Resort, Al Habtoor Riding School and Gholami Group.