By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAi: Al Habtoor Polo Resort, a sophisticated equestrian-inspired retreat, embodying timeless Andalusian elegance, has signed a five-year official partnership agreement with the Dubai Sharks RFC. Starting from the 2023/2024 season, the partnership includes mutual initiatives that will empower the local community through workshops, events, and engagement programs.
The partnership between Al Habtoor Polo Resort and the Dubai Sharks RFC have forged a strategic alliance, combining the hospitality prowess of Al Habtoor Polo Resort with the sports dedication of the club.” Both Al Habtoor Polo Resort and the Dubai Sharks RFC share a common vision of fostering talent, promoting healthy lifestyles, and nurturing teamwork. This partnership serves as a testament to their dedication to excellence, sportsmanship, and community welfare.
Mohamed Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group said he was pleased to partner with the Dubai Sharks RFC. This MOU stems from the sense of social responsibility adopted by Al Habtoor Group and our interest in promoting various initiatives in relation to sports. The collaboration with the Dubai Sharks RFC exemplifies our conviction that Hospitality and sports should be integrated as part of our commitment to maintain excellence.
Charlie Taylor, Chairman, The Dubai Sharks RFC, said: “There has been a mutual investment into the facilities for us to be homed here, which is a key takeaway. Habtoor has been incredible in their vision and awareness of how important a strong community club can benefit Habtoor but also benefit all our members. The greatest testament to this is the 5-year agreement. It gives us the time to build something special here”.
He added, “I am excited to share this incredible news with everyone, excited for all our players, our parents, our coaches, and all those who work so tirelessly behind the scenes to help keep Dubai Sharks RFC going. I think sporting communities, in particular Rugby & Netball in our case, are so important to residents in the UAE. It’s fair to say our club has had its fair share of ups and downs. This new chapter is the beginning of an extraordinary period for the club. I want to thank Mohammed Al Habtoor and his team at Habtoor Polo Resort for their vision and support over the summer. What felt like a ‘pinch me moment’ 6 weeks ago is now a reality and we all cannot wait to build on our great community. We look forward to welcoming the rest of our rugby community down for fixtures throughout the season, it’s been a long time coming “.
Lukas Tremmel, General Manager, Al Habtoor Polo Resort, said “We are absolutely delighted to partner with the Dubai Sharks RFC and embark on this journey together. The addition of the Dubai Sharks RFC to our Polo community reinforces our commitment to be a destination for family fun with the warm Habtoor Hospitality. We look forward to welcoming sports enthusiasts of all ages and their families to the resort and providing them with the resort’s exceptional training and recreational facilities.
The Dubai Sharks RFC was originally founded in 2007 under the name of Arabian Potbellies RFC as a senior men’s team, playing in the UAE Rugby Conference as a UAERF affiliated Rugby Club. Over the years, the Sharks have seen almost 800 active players pass through the Club, playing across Men’s 1st XV, Men’s 2nd XV, Men’s 3rd XV, International Vets (Bali Legends), Under 19s Boys, Ladies’ Sevens team, more recently a full Mini, Midi and Youth division with over 450 pups (and growing) and a Netball division with just over 140 players.