The United Arab Emirates officially announced the date of the World Polo Championship set to take place in the United Arab Emirates, with 8 teams participating in the Handicap 10-goal during the period between December 6 until December 20, 2026, on the playgrounds of clubs Ghantoot, Al Habtoor, Desert Palm, and Dubai.
The Chairman of the UAE Polo Federation Mohammed Al Habtoor extended his sincere congratulations in his name and in the name of the federation board members to the Head of State, His Highness Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, “may God protect him”. Al Habtoor extended his congratulations as well to the Vice-President, Prime Minister of the State, and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “may God protect him”, and to the people and residents of the Emirates for the winning and honor of the UAE Federation to host the World Polo Championship 2026 in the UAE.
Al Habtoor stated: the state of UAE has always been the pioneer in organizing the biggest championships successfully, whether related to equestrian sports, golf, football, Jujitsu, or other sports.
Al Habtoor added that the UAE file win was the result of the collective work of the board of directors since the moment they took charge and until the travel of the delegation to Argentina. The support of the General Sport Authority, the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports Councils, and the cooperation of all clubs truly contributed to this success and achievement.
Al Habtoor also thanked the Minister of Education of the United Arab Emirates and Head of the General Sport Authority, His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, for meeting with the Polo Federation board of directors and congratulating them for winning the hosting bid, as well as offering his generous guidance to the board of directors on the plans and programs of the federation.
The abovementioned matter was featured in the press conference held by the UAE Polo Federation in the temporary federation headquarters in Al Habtoor Group, in the presence of the Head of Polo Federation Mohammed Al Habtoor, the Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council Saeed Hareb, the representative of the General Sport Authority Mohammed Al Kaabi, the Vice-Chairman of the Federation Saeed Bin Drai, the Secretary General Mohammed Al Hareez, and Brazilian Renee Bernard Bill and Argentinian Adrian Simoniti from LM Polo “La Martine” company, who joined the conference via video call, confirming the partnership that will gather them with the UAE federation, along with media people. The attendees then watched a short documentary on the UAE win in the hosting bid.
Al Habtoor explained the preparation of our national team which is a candidate to participate in the championship, saying that the federation prepared an ambitious preparation plan for our players through external participation in Argentina, England and Spain, to develop their levels and raise their classifications within the next three years.
In his turn, the Vice-Chairman of the UAE Polo Federation and Head of the hosting dossier Saeed Bin Drai affirmed his indescribable happiness when the UAE hosting dossier was elected unanimously in a meeting in Buenos Aires attended by 45 countries, thanking the Embassy of the State in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires and the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai for their support and facilitation of the delegation’s mission while present there.
He added that this championship will be held outside of Europe and America for the first time, and for the first time in the Middle East as well, and that the last championship was held in the American State of Florida where the Spain National Team won the cup. Consequently, as the title holder, the Spain National Team will be alongside the Emirati National Team, hosting country, and next to six other teams. He said as well that it was known that the International federation was founded in 1985 with 86 countries as members, divided into four areas. The first and second of each area will be selected through the qualifying tournaments in the next two years.
Bin Drai added that the championship is held under the umbrella of the Federation of International Polo, “FIPA”, and that there are lists for this federation that will be implemented, and the federation will hold an important coordination meeting in upcoming January to form the monitoring committee and assign the tasks among the members.
The Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council Saeed Hareb affirmed that the Polo Federation is given credit for the ability to succeed in submitting the hosting dossier in a short period. We have already monitored many activities for the federation that deserves the recognition and credit, and here we are today, celebrating the announcement of hosting this global event that will be added to the other events that will take place in the UAE in 2026, and that will succeed in God’s will just like other similar events.
Saeed Hareb indicated that the UAE had become a landmark, not in the success of the events held on its lands, but in the security and safety that it provides, which are important factors in tourism, sports and in contributing to the economy of the state, and this appears clearly through our monitoring to the factors of attraction in tourism which are many, mainly the infrastructure.
The representative of the General Sport Authority Mohammed Al Kaabi conveyed the greetings and appreciation of His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education and Chairman of the General Sports Authority, and Saeed Abdul Ghaffar, Secretary General of the Authority, congratulating the federation on this global achievement.
Al-Kaabi said that the Polo Federation, whether it be the president or the members of the Board of Directors, are players who have played and some are still playing the game, and they have direct contact with the countries of Latin America, the citadel of Polo. We are pleased that we are contributing in the success of the event and the Authority will harness all its capabilities as usual to make sporting events a success.