MICE Middle East Websites

UAE Sends Team to Compete in King’s Cup in Thailand

Anantara Hotels & Resorts in Abu Dhabi has announced that a team of five has been selected to represent the United Arab Emirates in this year’s acclaimed King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament to be held in Bangkok 10-13 March, 2016 on the Chophraya riverside adjacent to the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort.


The annual tournament, now in its fourteenth year, has become one of the largest charitable events in Southeast Asia.   In the years since its inception in 2001 in Hua Hin, the King’s Cup has raised near US$1,000,000 which has been donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population, including research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children living with autism; donating a gantry to help lame elephants stand and a purpose built elephant ambulance to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre as well as donating an All Terrain Vehicle to the Government Elephant Hospital in Krabi, Thailand.



World’s Only Elephant Therapy Project for Autistic Children


The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is Anantara’s largest charity event which funds the world’s only elephant therapy project for Autistic children. 


“The Thai Elephant Therapy Project is a world first and it showcases Thailand as a pioneer in the support of research into alternative therapy solutions”, said Anantara’s Director of Elephants and Conservation Efforts, Mr John Roberts.


“Results from the project show that children displayed improved adaptive behaviour, sensory processing, postural control, balance and improved social skills, while their parents also reported perceived improvement and satisfaction with the programme.”


Elephants are a proud cultural symbol of Thailand’s history. Nothing but the utmost respect is given to these pachyderms and all proceeds from the tournament are used to ensure a comfortable lifestyle, sustenance, medical treatment and employment, as well as mahout training.


Domestic elephants are micro-chipped by the Thai government to show that they have not been caught from the wild.  The worst trekking camps can be tough for an elephant.  In order to make money, mahouts are forced to work their elephants 10 – 12 hours a day.  Conversely, at home in Surin, unemployment means elephants are often left isolated from other elephants with a short chain on two legs 24 hours a day with no exercise or enrichment.  In both circumstances, the poverty of existence means their owners cannot afford to feed them anything close to their daily physical needs, emotional needs are forgotten, and shade and sufficient water often overlooked.  The King’s Cup schedule is designed to give these trekking elephants rest and relaxation on a scale they are never afforded in their ‘normal’ lives and ensure elephant rest time with interaction and enrichment that neither set of elephants receive in their daily lives.


A total of 18 elephants will be given a break from their work in tourist trekking camps in Pattaya or street life in Surin, to take part in this year’s tournament, during which they are well fed and receive essential vitamin supplements, full veterinary checks and care.



The UAE Team


The five-strong UAE team will be once again captained by Wael Soueid, Area General Manager of Anantara Hotels & Resorts in Abu Dhabi. 


Wael remarked, “We are very excited to be representing the United Arab Emirates in this year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament.  Joining me on the team is Steve Thompson, Stuart Allan, Kristin Grube and my colleague Amer Braik.”


Despite a personal competitive streak, Wael clarifies, “This event is less about the sport and more about raising awareness about the plight of elephants in Thailand.   We are very proud to be able to be part of this amazing fundraising effort.  Because it is exciting for spectators and highly entertaining for the players the event attracts enormous media attention globally, which goes hand in hand with education and awareness.”


Joining the Anantara Arabian Knights on the polo field are an additional nine teams including Audemars Piquet, Citibank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and JW Blue.   The 40 players comprises Thai celebrities, professional horse-back polo players like those from the UAE’s Anantara Arabian Knights, the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby players and members of Thailand’s famous cabaret Miss Tiffany.


The four day festival will have something for everyone including an impressive Opening Parade, Children’s Educational Day, Ladies Day known as the ‘Bangkok Ascot’ and a wide range of fun elephant related activities for the whole family.



How can local UAE business get involved?     

While the corporate sponsors of the overall event are in place, The Anantara Arabian Knights are seeking a team sponsor which will receive branding opportunities and a range of special privileges including accommodation and invitations to the charity gala dinner in Bangkok.   Interested parties should contact Leoan Canuday at lcanuday@anantara.com

Back to Home Page

Motaz Othman.. M.I.C.E Middle East>> Maybe I visited Bangkok 20 times or more, most time at Sukhumvit street, always passing by The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok in Soi 19, always say to myself that I need to experience staying more
Join us to win a two-night stay at Best Western Hotel Fino Tokyo Akihabara! more
One of the top four tourism exhibitions in the world, East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition – EMITT is set to bring together international tourism professionals and holiday consumers for the 23rd time in I more
International Buyers Dress Up as Master Chefs to Win Limited-Edition Bravo the Mascot Souvenirs more
Radisson Hotel Group™ is accelerating its expansion plans in China, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic travel markets, with key appointments, landmark hotel signings and new openings. more
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) co-hosted the UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism at The Shilla Seoul from September 16 to 19. The UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism is an in more
Best Western Hotels & Resorts has continued its incredible winning streak at the TTG Travel Awards, receiving the title as Asia’s “Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand” for an amazing 12th year in a row! more
Mr. Peter Nicholas Lucas has been appointed as General Manager of The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, effective from September 18, 2017. more
With the frequency and severity of natural disasters occurring around the world, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is ready to assist affected destinations around the world as they look to quickly rebuild and recover. more
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB released results of its recent market survey conducted in 20 countries showing that Thailand has been rated the most preferred MICE destination which the surv more
Bangladesh General Insurance Company Ltd.
Motaz Othman Account at TripAdvisor
Movenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau.
The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, BANGKOK
Chez Razzak Tours - Bangladesh
Maximus BD Tours & Travels DMC Bangladesh
Explore the hidden gems of Khon Kaen at PDMF 2018
Urban Beauty - Thailand
Chengdu International Tourism Expo 2018
Advertise with us.
Memorable Moments at Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba
Honeymoon Middle East

Copyright Travel and Tourism Guide - Middle East 2011

P.O.Box 841113 Amman 11180 Jordan, 37 Samir Rifai Street 3rd Floor, Amman - Jordan

Mobile: +962 785557778 fax: +962 6 5713689

Email: motaz.othman@micemiddleeast.com  Website: www.ttgmiddleeast.com

Motaz Othman Email