"The Dubai Polo Season is a step in the right direction"
Interview with one of the most important patrons of the UAE
April 9, 2013
By Gonzalo Etcheverry
When he started playing polo, sporadicly in 2002 and mostly because of his love to horses and sport, he never imagined that Zedan Polo was going to be one of the most important polo organizations in the UAE.
In this days, Amr Zedan is a constant and passionate polo player and his team, Zedan Polo is one of the important teams that take part in the UAE polo season.
Amr Zedan greeted PoloLine at his stables at Desert Palm to talk about his beginning, his love for the sport and his future plans with Zedan Polo.
"I started playing polo in 2002, it was just sporadic polo. In that times I had to focus on work and polo was not my principal objective but I started knowing more about the sport and trying to find what I wanted to do with polo.
Polo is a luxury you do after you settle down with work and luckily we've been doing really well and we´ll be playing polo here and there.
In between 2005 and 2009 I just played exhibitions in England but from 2009 when I met Rodolfo (Ducos) we decided to do something together because I really wanted to go further with the polo".
Amr choose polo, among other sports, because of his love to horses and the relationship of the sport with business. "I always wanted to do something with horses. I tried several things but polo was the sport that I like the most, although my soccer is much better than my polo!.
When I was young I associated polo with business and that, with my passion for sports, made me decide to play polo.
It's just and addicting sport. It's hard and sometimes frustrating because no matter how hard you try is difficult to be like the professionals, we just have to believe that we have to keep on trying.
Also, polo gives you the opportunity to build up frienship and play in several countries.
And to be honest, and I say it with big pride, I owe it all to Rodolfo, he´s the perfect manager, more than a friend, we´re almost family, I consider his family as mine, he is my boss when it comes to polo (he insists on including that words!). When you don´t really know what you are doing to have the best manager is really important.
And I also have to thank Ali Albwardy for giving me the opportunity to came to Desert Palm, to learn polo, his hospitality, to use a lot of the club horses. If it wasn't for his iniciative and building this lovely place I wouldn't had the chance to play polo".
Zedan organization and Nachi Heguy
Says Amr Zedan: "Everybody tells me that Zedan Polo had contributed to raise the polo level in Dubai. After bringing Nachi Heguy and buying new horses we contributed with that.
Half of the horses we have, had played the Argentinean Open and all the mares played the Open so we have quality horses. We also got the Best Playing Polo last year and we won the UAE President Cup.
So everybody comes and thanks me but it´s not me, it´s all Rodolfo's work. Rodolfo had the vision, he keeps pushing me and we look forward to continue growing and be an important part of polo in Dubai. Plus, it's two years that Nachi Heguy, one of the best polo players of the world, takes part of the UAE polo season playing for Zedan Polo".
About the importance having such an experienced polo player in his team, Amr says, "It's a nice feeling to be able to play with someone like Nachi and the rest of the best polo players. At the same time is a team and sometimes you do something that´s really good and they congratulate you and you feel really well about it.
Basically we wanted to assemble a good team and Rodolfo suggested to bring Nachi and we did it.
It was a great move for me and for Dubai. I learn a lot of things from Nachi, there are things that you don't really recognize till they happen and with Nachi that happened. My tactics changed, he told me a couple of tips that help to improve my polo and having him on the team is a step on the right direction".
Dubai Polo Season and future polo Association
Other improtant subject that came up to the conversation with Amr Zedan, was the future of polo in the UAE and a new polo Association.
"The Dubai polo season is growing very well. I think is a step in the right direction and we have to thank Mohammed Al Habtoor for having the determination, organization and ability to put this thing together, including it on the tour and establishing the Silver and Gold Cup in the international polo calendar.
I also think the time has come to create a Polo Association, with a border director where all the patrons are members, so it comes to a Dubai Polo Association Tournament.
This is just a suggestion. We take everything from a person, in this case Mohammed, to a organization where everybody will contribute to the organization and that becomes the oversight organization of the polo in Dubai or perhaps on the UAE. And then we can develope it and make things more professional.
We suggested it to Mohammed, he is a dear friend so we can sit down and talk about it. To be very fair, Mohammed has been always opened to what all the other patrons suggest so I think this could be something to be improve.
Another of the good things that we can do once we create the Polo Association is to play tournaments in different clubs, like Arabian Ranches, Desert Palm, Ghantoot, etc.
It will be better for everyone. We need more fields, to manage to build two o three new fields, play here and there
I just want to keep playing and try to do better as far as I can. I would like to go upto 2 goals but I know I have to work hard...
We are thinking what we will do after the President Cup in Ghantoot. Maybe England, we are also thinking of Sotogrande, but now we are focus with Rodolfo on the President´s Cup and after that we´re gonna sit and make a decision".