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05 March 2024

Desert Palm emerge champions in HH President of the UAE Polo Cup

The victorious Desert Palm team being presented with awards. (Supplied)

By Allaam Ousman

Desert Palm 'A' emerged champions of the 15th edition of the HH President of the UAE Polo Cup held at Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club under the patronage of the club's chairman Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Dubai team won a thrilling final 10-9 against the fancied Zidan team from Saudi.

Santiago opened scoring for the UAE side with a 40-yard penalty after two minutes.

Desert Palm adopted a defensive approach to foil Zidan's star player from Argentina Pablo from making forays.

Rashid Al Bawardi, captain Desert Palm marshalled his team members Santiago, Martin Vaillant and Vakndo to lead 5-2 in the second chukker.

The Saudi side clawed their way back before Desert Palm got an equaliser to make it 7-7 after four chukkers.

After a tense final chukker, Desert Palm pulled off a memorable victory.

Third place went to Bin Drai Team who beat Abu Dhabi Polo team 12-7 in a game that preceded the final.

The tournament which began on January 6 with the participation of 10 teams from UAE and Saudi Arabia, concluded at Sheikh Zayed Main Stadium in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Sultan bin Shakhboot Al Nahyan and Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan and Saeed Bin Houfan Al Mansouri, Ghantoot's Vice-Chairman, as well as Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Managing Director of the club and many VIP guests and audience.

The closing ceremony comprised many wonderful activities for families. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Sports and Fitness Program participated with school shows, while Abu Dhabi Country Club displayed a gym equipment corner for those wishing to try out. Abu Dhabi Police participated with the latest security cars. The evening's highlight was an airshow by the UAE Aerobatics Team Al Fursan (The Knights), as they’ve coloured the skies with UAE’s flag colours.