The Royal Salute UAE Nations Cup 2015 at Desert Palm Retreat, Dubai

The Royal Salute UAE Nations Cup 2015 at Desert Palm Retreat, Dubai


By Victoria Elsbury-Legg


On Friday 30th January 2015 four international teams will compete in The Royal Salute UAE Nations Cup 2015 at the Desert Palm Retreat, Dubai.  Now in its sixth year, the tournament handicap has increased to 14 goals, with such international players as Malcom Borwick, Diego Cavanagh, Santiago Laborde, Matias Torres Zavaleta, Kristian Peterson, Facundo Castagnola and Martin Valent competing.  Playing alongside them will be patron of The Desert Palm Polo Club – Ali Albwardy, Matias Machado (resident polo instructor at Desert Palm Polo Club) and other Dubai based players including Ayaad Damouni, Sam Instone and Jan Bladen.


Royal Salute World Polo Ambassador, Malcolm Borwick has returned to the UAE to play for Royal Salute, he was last in the country in November 2014 when he played alongside HRH Prince Harry in his victorious Sentebale Huntsman team in another tournament supported by Royal Salute. Pre-tournament, Malcom commented on he felt about returning to Dubai to play, ‘Once again I feel privileged to be visiting Dubai to play polo in the Royal Salute UAE Nations Cup at its home at Desert Palm Polo Club, Desert Palm Retreat. This year we will the level of polo reach new heights and we are delighted this is now a 14 goal tournament.  This should make for some exciting action and competition which is both great for the event but also for raising its profile further.’


Founded in 2009, Adolfo Cambiaso competed in the inaugural tournament and in 2012 also captained the UAE team who went on to win the trophy that year.  Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Gulf, David Freeborn explained the connection between his brand, this tournament and the international ‘game of kings’, remarking that ‘Royal Salute continues to support polo on a global scale through the Royal Salute World Polo Series and this is a highly anticipated event in the international polo calendar. This year we expect it, yet again, to deliver some exciting and world-class polo over the duration of the tournament. The timeless appeal of polo, its heritage, power, passion, integrity and the honour displayed by its players are values which are also inherent to Royal Salute, making it the perfect sponsorship blend. Indeed we are now in our sixth year for this event – and we look forward to extending the relationship long into the future.’


Team List:


DESERT PALM (Handicap 12)

1 Ali Albwardy 0

2 Musab Al wandawi 1

3 Diego Cavanagh 8

4 Pablo Casero 3


DEUS (Handicap 10)

1 Ayaad Damouni 0

2 Michel Nseir 0

3 Santiago Laborde 6

4 Matias Machado 4


AES (Handicap 11)

1 Sam Instone 0

2 Jan Bladen 0

3 Matias Torres Zavaleta 7

4 Martin Valent 4


ROYAL SALUTE (Handicap 14)

1 Kristian Peterson 1

2 Thomas Claesen 1

3 Facundo Castagnola 6

4 Malcolm Borwick 6