I spent a few days in Saudi Arabia with Ali Reda, a renowned architect and polo and equestrian club designer. It was at the invitation of a company that hopes to start polo in the kingdom. It was an eye-opening visit for me, as I had never been to Saudi Arabia before.
This project has been brewing for some time. I’ve been on standby to go to Saudi for a few months, and of course it had to happen in the middle of summer and Ramadhan. It was a challenge from that perspective.
Meanwhile, Ali recently became the new polo captain in Singapore. I had to give up the chance to course design the Maxwin League Final in Thailand to go to Saudi Arabia.
I think it was worth it. It was a really interesting trip. We looked at their land, and will see what we can fit in there, as it is a little tight for all the facilities we would like. We also visited some riding clubs there to see what is already available.
What we found is that there is only showjumping and tent-pegging. While there are national competitions up to 1.45 m, there aren’t any dressage competitions at all.
Saudi has no polo yet, but they do have quite a few players who already play a very good level in Dubai. The most famous of which would be Amr Zedan of Zedan Polo.
I hope we will be able to add to the Saudi polo experience.