DUBAI, UAE, Mar 31, 2009 / — The year’s most prestigious and celebrated polo tournament in the desert took place on Friday March 27th, 2009 at the prominent Desert Palm Hotel, under the patronage of and attended by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE Ruler of Dubai.
Each year Cartier hosts three dazzling tournaments: a traditional, royal Cartier International Windsor Polo Cup, a more daring Saint-Moritz Snow Polo event and the exceptional Desert Polo match in Dubai. These three unique experiences help to forge closer bonds between the famous jeweler and this magnificent sport, which reflects the lifestyle symbolized by Cartier.
For the past 4 years, the Cartier International Polo has hosted many stars and VIPs from around the world. This year, the famous actress and Cartier muse, Monica Bellucci, Bollywood actor & Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor and Bollywood actress & model Karishma Kapoor were present among Dubai’s VIPs.
The day was a true blend of glamour and sporting elegance. The Cartier Challenge included two teams: Qatar Airways including leading players such as Sunjay Kapur, Rashid Albawadry, Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers and Martin Valent – verses team EmiratesNBD including Tariq Albwardy, Sir Michael Rake, Clive Reid and Rodolfo Ducos.
Princess Haya graced the event with her presence and presented the winning team with the Cartier Trophy, along with Mr Bernard Fornas, President of Cartier International and Mr Patrick Normand, Managing Director of Cartier Middle East. Following the prize giving ceremony, Cartier presented Princess Haya, who is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a cheque for AED 646,000 for the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR).
Mr. Hamdi Bukhari, UNHCR’s Acting Representative in the GCC countries, received the donation on behalf of UNHCR and said: “Once again, HRH Princess Haya demonstrates a solid commitment to promote education of refugee children worldwide. We in UNHCR greatly appreciate this dedication to the humanitarian cause of refugees and would like to express our gratitude to Princess Haya and Cartier for their continuous generosity.”
In their capacity, UNHCR will use this money to fund an educational program for refugees in Zambia called “Enhanced Access to Education”.
Research shows that school enrolment rates in refugee camps are extremely low, UNHCR is going to cooperate with the Ministry of Education to recruit qualified teachers, improve retention rate of school age going children especially among girls, improve access to non formal education, improve school infrastructure including sport facilities, supply schools with necessary educational material.
The aim of this program is to reinforce early childhood care and the development of education centers.
On this occasion, Cartier took the opportunity to exhibit its fine watch-making collection, particularly the limited edition Santos 100 watch with Arabian Horse motif, which took the interest of many equestrian admirers.
Cartier also displayed its newest jewellery collection, Trinity de Cartier – a collection inspired by the Trinity ring, one of the most famous rings in the world, comprised of three rings of gold: Pink, White and Yellow; symbolizing three variations: Love, Friendship and Fidelity; expressing the wearer’s three characters: Identity, Uniqueness and Mystery. These elegant pieces were exhibited in the beautifully decorated Cartier Villa at the Desert Palm Hotel.
Photos by Chris Jackson, courtesy of Cartier