The Sport of Kings Takes on a New Look As Dnata Launches Camel Polo in Dubai
First there was Polo, the sport of Kings. Then there was Elephant Polo, the sport of Maharajahs. Now in Dubai there is Camel Polo – the sport of Sheikhs?
Leading Middle East travel management company, Dnata, today launched a distinctive Dubai version of the traditional polo game played not with horses, but the U.A.E.’s iconic camels.
Adrian Sime, Manager, Business Development at Dnata Travel Services, said: “As the leading travel services company in the Middle East, Dnata is always looking for ways to enhance our range of products and services. It is important that visitors to Dubai can enjoy a variety of different experiences and that is why we have decided to add Camel Polo to our portfolio.
“Camel Polo is a great fun, exciting and safe activity that everyone, regardless of size, age, gender, strength or skill can participate in. When you put that together with the fantastic environment that is offered by Dubai and the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club at Arabian Ranches, it makes an experience people will never forget.
“Camel Polo is the ideal team building activity. We structure our Camel Polo experience to include a training session, in which clients are shown some basic skills, and then it’s time to put those skills into action with a match. There are always two people on the camel – one to manoeuvre the camel and the other to play the polo – so we can have two participants per camel or one participant plus a ‘driver’.
“Camel Polo is a very informal activity where fun is the name of the game and we are looking forward to welcoming groups from across the globe to Dubai to participate in this unique activity.”
All twelve polo-playing camels, selected for their size and ability, have received four hours of training every day by two specialised coaches over recent months to reach the peak of fitness and skill they demonstrate on the polo field. Once trained, the camels can canter and make sharp turns similar to polo horses, making this an exciting and unique spectator sport. Where polo camels differ from polo ponies is in their tendancy to sit down in the middle of the match, thereby adding to the fun of the experience.
As you would expect, off the field, these camels are exceptionally well cared for, receiving an excellent diet, housing and veterinary care. A dedicated handler is provided for every camel during each match, ensuring the safety of both camel and players.
The great news about this new activity is that anyone can play – no previous experience is needed as full instructions are given on the day by the professional polo coach.
There’s also a strong team-work aspect as two players work together on each participating camel. The player to be the driver sits in front of the hump, in charge of direction and the second player, sitting behind the hump is responsible for hitting the large, inflatable ball. The rules follow the traditional game with some minor variations, so camel polo retains a strong competitive element, increasing the excitement for both players and spectators.
Camel Polo is fun to play and hilarious to watch, making it a great corporate team-building event and a tourist attraction in its own right. It can accommodate groups ranging in size from eight to up to a hundred, playing “knock-out” competitions. Anyone wishing to try it out for themselves can call 04 404 5861 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo captions: Camel Polo, only available in Dubai, was launched today by leading travel management company, Dnata.