The Dubai World Cup, is an annual event which has helped to place the United Arab Emirates on the map and is home to the world’s top racing challenge, drawing the attention of millions of enthusiasts around the globe.
Dubai World Cup Poster
The race was first held in 1996, at the original venue of Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. It is a Group One flat race on dirt, run over a distance of 2,000 meters (around 10 furlongs). The current record time of 1:59.50 is held by legendary jockey Frankie Dettori, who rode Dubai Millennium to victory in the year 2000. The event transferred to its current home, Meydan Racecourse, in 2010.
The Dubai World Cup sees top-calibre horses from all over the world – America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and Japan. There are nine Group races throughout the day, including six at the elite Group 1 level, with the main event – the $12 million namesake Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates airline. There are no bookmakers, but you can enter free competitions to predict the winners for the chance to win cash prizes.
It is much more than a single race day, though. The Dubai World Cup Carnival is a lead up to the Dubai World Cup that features nine race meetings with horses from around the world. It’s held on consecutive Thursday evenings throughout January and February, followed by Super Saturday on the second weekend in March, which is the “dress rehearsal” for the Dubai World Cup where the best horses compete for the berths. The UAE racing season – and thus the racing action in Dubai – kicks off in late October and finishes in mid-April. So, even if you are not in town for the big day, you can still catch some top racing action.
An occasion as momentous as the Dubai World Cup requires a befitting home, however, which is most certainly the case at the state-of-the-art Meydan Racecourse. Building upon the 14-year legacy begun by Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, which gave way to the new and improved Meydan Racecourse in 2010. Revealing an ultramodern grandstand that sits beneath the iconic crescent roof, accompanied inside by a stellar selection of fine-dining establishments, a theatre and the Meydan Museum and Gallery – which only begins to describe the many elements of this architectural feat.
As such, the purpose-built stadium serves as a lasting tribute to the elegance associated with the Dubai World Cup and the ever-evolving marvels of the city beyond. But of course, at the heart of Meydan Racecourse is the racing itself, which can be admired in all manner of ways while catering for all varieties of budgets. Inviting you to catch the action from the main social hubs of Apron Views or The Gallery. Gradually increasing in exclusivity to the high-end hospitality experiences which await within the Grandstand Suites, Cigar Suite, Sky Bubble and The Lounge – each revealing unrivalled offerings of wining, dining and socializing, along with the best views to watch the Dubai World Cup.
Fashion & Etiquette
Such is the sense of occasion at the Dubai World Cup, you may also want to look the part – with fashion as integral to the day as the racing itself. Encouraging both men and women to flaunt their style, flair and creativity as you swap shorts for suits and ditch skirts in favors of elegant gowns. Culminating with the Style Stakes: where the best-dressed racegoers will be hand-picked by a panel of judges and suitably rewarded for their style, elegance, creativity and all-round outfit-picking prowess.
When deciding upon an outfit, however, you may also want to consider the etiquette of the occasion. So think class, sophistication and head-to-toe style, complete of course with a showstopping hat or fascinator. But you will also want to dress practically, taking into consideration the warm weather and the likelihood that you will be stood on your feet for long periods of time. But all in all, a day at the Dubai World Cup is one that lingers long in the memory – and will likely leave you counting down the days until you can do it all over again.
More than Just a Race
After the drama of the Dubai World Cup has run its course and the year’s victor has been crowned, get set to dance, dine and carouse your way into the early hours at the event’s official after party. Revealing an elegant evening of fine dining and socialising, set to the sound of some of the world’s most famous musicians and escorted by the extravagance that can be expected from any social occasion in Dubai.
Should you not be able to attend the Dubai World Cup or are simply in search of some more racing action, however, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many ways in which you can experience a day at the races in Dubai. As Meydan Racecourse hosts 23 meetings between the months of November and March, starring the world-renowned races of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and Super Saturday – the official dress rehearsal of the Dubai World Cup.
But of course, beyond the racing, no end of enjoyment can be found among the city’s astonishing sights on a holiday in Dubai. Beckoning you to bask upon soft white sands, scale the heights of the world’s tallest building, or shop until you drop in the planet’s biggest mall. Served alongside the rich offerings of culture that thrive within a stellar selection of museums, galleries and the fragrant spice markets of the alluring Old Town.
For Horse Owners
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Flying to Dubai
Landing permits are required for all private and charter flights to the UAE. The official lead time to arrange a permit is four business days. Once issued, permits are valid for 72 hours. Below are the standard requirements for a UAE landing permit:
Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC)
Aircraft Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW)
Installation certificate (TCAS II Version 7)
Maintenance release certificate
Radio station license
Two international airports are available for General Aviation (GA) in Dubai. These are Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB, ICAO: OMDB), and Al Maktoum International Airport (IATA: DWC, ICAO: OMDW).
Dubai International Airport is currently the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic, and is primarily dedicated to scheduled commercial flights (serving as the home base for Emirates Airlines and flydubai). OMDB is located 20km northeast of Meydan Racecourse, while OMDW is approximately 52km south west from the venue. Please note that the roads leading to OMDB are often affected by traffic congestion, particularly during peak times. OMDW does not face this issue.
OMDB and OMDW offer 24-hour Airport of Entry (AoE) with customs and immigration available on-site, and are fully equipped to support GA flights. Airport slots are required for both airports, and parking needs to be booked in advance. Long-term parking availability will depend on the type of aircraft.
Helicopter transfers are possible only from OMDW.
Travel to Dubai with Jetex
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