Getting to Know You! - Louisa Dawnay

5 minutes and 10 Questions with Louisa Dawnay, General Manager of Desert Palm Polo Club and Resort, Dubai

Q1: How did you first get in to Polo?

I first got into polo through my mother - she’s insanely passionate about the sport and it big time rubbed off on me!

Q2: Favourite Polo Event in the world?

Wow - that’s a tough one - naturally the Argentine Open is without doubt the polo purist in me‘s numero uno but I have to say, Polo in the Park, Polo in the Palace etc have a special place in my heart too as they bring the sport to the uninitiated and showcase it in a super fun format! But the all round best polo event for me, for a million reasons has to be the Cartier Dubai International Polo Challenge - not least because it’s where I first fell in love with Desert Palm but also because the seamless marriage between the Guards pomp and ceremony coupled with Cartier’s elegant flair, plus international players and Emiratis, Royals and Hollywood stars to boot, is just spectacular - the event is so glitzy and glamorous, taking the very best of many cultures to really make the event stand out! The polo is fast and furious and the parties always are too! 

Q3:Your top 3 items to take in your luggage when travelling?

Weirdly - mostly electrical items!

Chargers: running out of phone/watch/laptop etc battery is an adrenalin rush I never welcome! 

Plugs: one multi way adaptor plus a UK multi plug extension lead... honestly, it’s a life saver! 

Aftershokz headphones - a recent discovery but wow, what a difference! Being able to be totally hands free for calls/music when running etc but also be able to hear everything around you is a game changer for me and you can ride with them too without the fear of them falling out like the AirPods! 

Q4: Best advice any one ever gave you?

I’ve been lucky enough to have had oodles of advice over the years - working in and around polo meant I’ve been around some of the top business people on the planet and because I share a common passion with them, I have been able to chat freely and openly and form lasting relationships... the best advice anyone gave me was ‘you cannot please all the people, all of the time’ and although I always try my best to do the very best by everyone, I am fully aware that these words are deeply accurate! 

Q5: Your moto to live by?

Family first - everything I do is for my family and always will be. I am not afraid of hard work but it’s all for them :-) 

Q6: Your favourite La Martina piece?

I can’t pick just one! I LOVE all the handbags, belts, shoes and clothing from the fashion collections and then I also adore the funky polo boots, polo glasses and elbow pads! 

Q7: Your dream holiday destination?

Anywhere sunny with a smidgen of polo is fine by me! I’m so lucky to work in such beautiful locations that I don’t really need/crave the ‘holiday’ experience!

Q8: Favourite  Polo Club?


Without a shadow of doubt, Desert Palm Polo Club!! Best horses, fab hotel, amazing people and undoubtedly the most polo-passionate owners on earth! 


Q9: Favourite Polo Pony?

It has to be Chalo Angelo - a beautiful chestnut stallion owned by Lolo Castagnola - that horse is literally an orange unicorn! Not only can he be played at the top level by both Castagnola brothers but my 3 year old daughter can go into his stable for plenty of snuggles too! Totally dreamy! 


Q10: In 5 year’s time I would like to be……… (finish this sentence!)

In five years time I would like to be doing the exact same thing - constantly striving for excellence and making sure I never settle for mediocre! Oh and adding a few more Dubai Polo Team engravings to the Queen’s and Gold Cup trophy plinths! 

Thank you Louisa Dawnay, General Manager of Desert Palm!  We enjoyed getting to know you!


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