AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo will return to AlUla in partnership with Polo Club Saint-Tropez – Haras de Gassin.
Tickets are now on sale for the third edition of the event taking place across three days of world class polo action from January 26-28. This year will see the event grow with eight teams now confirmed led by some of the greatest players in polo history.
The tournament is played out in a purpose-built desert arena set amongst the extraordinary landscapes of the Equestrian Village – in close proximity to Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra. Multiple delectable food offerings will be delighting the guests whether from the free catering service by islands on the deck, or from the paid choices from the food trucks outside of the arena.
The eight competing teams will be led by an expert player from global polo icons, with the world famous La Dolfina Polo team players back again joined by Facundo Pieres and Gonzalito Pieres and other professional players, while invited patrons and players drawn from both Saudi Arabia and the global polo community will make up the sides.
The tournament is organised in a collaboration between the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), the Saudi Polo Federation (SPF), Richard Mille – the title sponsor and tournament timekeeper, along with the legendary team La Dolfina Polo, and for the first time with Polo Club Saint-Tropez – Haras de Gassin, the summer destination of polo lovers from around the world, with AlUla being their distinct winter destination for the game of kings. The collaborations reflect the commitment of RCU into establishing long-term partnerships to develop the equestrian industry in Saudi Arabia, and make the historic site of AlUla the premier destination for horse enthusiasts from around the world.
Widely regarded as the Sport of Kings, the one-of-a-kind tournament will guarantee guests a first-class hospitality and unmatched beauty for a unique experience – perfect for polo, nature, lifestyle and fashion enthusiast alike with more details to follow on exclusive events running alongside the tournament.
The Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo forms part of AlUla Moments calendar that includes five festivals and six marque events (click here). The polo is the first event of ‘Sports Events’ festivals alongside Saudi Tour Cycling (1-5 Feb), AlUla Trail Race (23-24 February), AlUla Endurance Cup 2023 (March 4) and more.
Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla said: “The Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo kicks off our sporting calendar for 2023 and brings world icons from the polo world to AlUla once again. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that promises three days of first class sport, stars, action and style. Hosting and partnering with the world’s best supports AlUla ambitions builds in becoming a premier equestrian destination.”
“The success of the 2022 tournament deepened our involvement with the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Saudi Polo Federation, hence we are very proud to maintain our positioning as the title sponsor and official timekeeper of the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo. This year’s event is certain to be nothing short of remarkable as we will have the chance to witness some of the best polo players in the world in action as they compete against the iconic backdrop of the AlUla landscape” commented Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille EMEA.
Alshair Fiyaz, Chairman of Polo Club Saint-Tropez – Haras de Gassin said: “We are thrilled to play an active role in the organisation of this year’s exceptionally promising edition. It will proudly mark the beginning of an ambitious partnership which will grow into an exciting long term collaboration between our two international polo destinations.”
Tickets vary between single day pass, full event pass, along with the VIP setup passes with full hospitality. Prices start from SAR 300 for a one-day ticket and can be purchased from www.experiencealula.com
For more information on the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo and other events of AlUla Moments, follow @alulamoments and @experiencealula or visit experiencealula.com
About AlUla Moments:
AlUla Moments is AlUla’s new home of events. The brand was launched at the end of 2021 and introduced four new festivals to celebrate and unlock AlUla’s stories, uncover its secrets and celebrate local and international cultures. With 7000 years of civilisations and home to some of the most sophisticated ancient Kingdoms of antiquity, AlUla is no stranger to social gathering and cultural celebrations.
The four festivals introduced were Winter at Tantora, which returned to celebrate heritage, culture and music, in addition to the AlUla Skies, AlUla Arts and AlUla Wellness Festival.
The festivals offered a selection of experiences in art, culture, music, nature, wellness, equestrian, food and astronomy. All of which were celebrating the culture, history and legacy of AlUla and the civilisations that once called the land of AlUla their home.
In 2023, AlUla Moments presents five major festivals and six marque events, including the return of Winter at Tantora, AlUla Wellness Festival, AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla Skies presented by Saudia, AZIMUTH, Richard Mille Desert Polo, Endurance Cup Race, and the Ancient Kingdoms Festival.
Located 1,100 km from Riyadh, in North-West Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. The vast area, covering 22,561km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years to when the Lihyan and Nabataean kingdoms reigned.
The most well-known and recognised site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city, Hegra was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom and is comprised of 111 well-preserved tombs, many with elaborate facades cut out of the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement.
Current research also suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Roman Empire after the Roman’s conquered the Nabataeans in 106 CE.
In addition to Hegra, AlUla is also home to ancient Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms and considered to be one of the most developed 1st millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula, and Jabal Ikmah, an open air library of hundreds of inscriptions and writings in many different languages. Also AlUla Old Town, a labyrinth of more than 900 mudbrick homes developed from at least the 12th century, and Hijaz Railway and Hegra Fort, key sites in the story and conquests of Lawrence of Arabia.
For more information, please visit: www.experiencealula.com
The Saudi Polo Federation:
The Saudi Polo Federation (SPF) was established in July 2018 as a means of developing the sport across The Kingdom and establishing international best practice from grass roots to elite levels.
Aligned with key government stakeholders such as the General Sports Authority, the SPF works to further establish Saudi polo in a global context, continuing the work already undertaken by Saudi’s private polo patrons on the international stage.
The SPF seeks to encourage the sport among young Saudi men and women in accordance with the goals set out in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, while reflecting the transformational journey taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Polo Club Saint-Tropez – Haras de Gassin:
In 2014, Alshair Fiyaz acquired the estate and planned to make the Polo Club Saint-Tropez – Haras de Gassin the most renowned sports center on the French Riviera. Constructions began in November 2014 and have made the Polo Resort & Country Club an iconic venue of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.
Since July 2018, the new facilities are open all year round for the club members, offering the perfect combination between sports and well-being. Its polo season, from April to September, has been recognised as one of the best in Europe, especially during its high season in July & August. In total, more than 170 games, +700 chuckers, +50 teams, +110 players and +600 horses in 2022. The Polo Resort & Country Club is an impressive organisation where lifestyle management meets high-end sports operations.
From the very inception of the brand in 2001, Richard Mille endeavored to apply the techniques and materials found in the most innovative sectors such as F1 racing car development to watchmaking, with the goal of creating an extreme timepiece, without compromise.
Richard Mille’s watches are marvels of technology designed specifically for those with a keen appreciation and love of fine Swiss watchmaking.
Today, 20 years later, the Richard Mille watch collection now comprises more than eighty models, each designed and produced with the same passion and uncompromising principles that guided Richard Mille’s first creation.
For more information, please visit: www.richardmille.com