Inaugural Ladies polo event receives Royal approval
The first UAE Ladies Polo Tournament was officially launched on Monday night by Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in a special ceremony at the Dubai Mall store of main sponsors Ralph Lauren.
This is the first time an all-ladies polo tournament is being held in the region, and four teams, including the Sheikha Maitha-led UAE, will be taking part in the event, which takes place at Desert Palm Resort from Wednesay to Friday, December 13.
Some of the highest handicapped female polo players across the globe will be seen in action during the tournament.
This includes Sunny Hale, the best ranking female polo player in the US, who will be a part of Team Asia, which will captained by Ploy Bhinsaeng, Thailand’s premier female polo player and Lady Polo Asia Ambassador.
There are two European teams in the fray, with Team Europe 1 being led by Princess Anna Oettingen- Wallerstein, founder of the Girls Only tournament.
The fourth team, Team Europe 2, is led by Katerina Zeka Dombiova, one of the brightest stars in the game from the Czech Republic.
The competition highlights the growing participation of females playing professional sports in the UAE, and Sheikha Maitha said: “The Ralph Lauren International Ladies Polo Tournament represents a significant achievement for both the UAE and for women across the region.
“Polo has long been associated as being a tough game, however, the first ever ladies polo tournament allows women to cement their footprints in this sport. It gives me great honour to participate in this pioneering event and to blaze a path for women in the world of polo.”
As part of the launch yesterday, Sheikha Maitha unveiled the official limited edition Ralph Lauren polo mesh shirts that the players will wear during the tournament.
The specially-designed shirts are available in four bright colours – orange, pink, lime-green and white.
Retailing at Dh830 for men and Dh735 for women, these will be available exclusively in Ralph Lauren stores and corners in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from December 9, as well as at the venue.
Twenty per cent of all proceeds made from sales of these limitededition tournament shirts will benefit Dubai Cares, the UAE-based philanthropic organisation that aims to improve children’s access to quality primary education in developing countries.
Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer, Dubai Cares said: “We are grateful to Her Highness Sheikha Maitha for her philanthropic efforts and selecting Dubai Cares to be part of this unique event.
“Sheikha Maitha has been an ambassador of Dubai Cares ever since its launch and took part in various activities such as travelling to one of our programs in Sudan. We are also pleased to work with Ralph Lauren on this prestigious event.”