Saudi Arabia’s first-ever desert polo tournament has just taken place at the UNESCO World Heritage site AlUla as part of the Winter at Tantora festival.
Beyond Amaala’s 7-3 victory over AlUla, with a hat-trick from Argentine polo star Nacho Figueras, it was the hosting of this tournament, the first of its kind, that created the event.
As part of the Winter at Tantora festival, international polo players had the experience of playing for 3 days on compacted desert sand instead of grass in the beautiful setting of AlUla.
🏆Final of an amazing tournament 𝗔𝗹𝗨𝗹𝗮 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘁 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗼 winners:
2️⃣ AlUla Team
4️⃣ Richard Mille
🙋🏻♀️ MVP Alia Al Maktoum pic.twitter.com/Bszte6Xa2J
— PoloLine (@Pololine) January 18, 2020
Only a start
The message of the various stars present is unequivocal. In a country in the throes of change, they are all delighted to be able to come and represent their sport and help it develop. Figueras even highlighted the “incredible history and heritage” of the venue. Even Amr F. Zedan, a former professional player now president of the newly formed Saudi Polo Federation, “sees this event as a launching pad for the future”.
Amr Madani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, reiterated his commitment to the consistent development of the region: “Horse riding has always been a key industry for us, and the surrounding area makes AlUla one of the best places to ride horses.