In 2019, the Dubai World Cup Night recorded the all-time richest horse racing day of the world with a prize purse worth USD 35 million. The annual event, which has a rich history tracing back to the royal lineage of the UAE, is hosted by the Dubai Racing Club, a renowned racing venue which hosts some of the most elite horse racing events held across the globe.
Horse racing in Dubai is a popular sport that attracts prominent horse owners, top-ranked jockeys and the best race horses from around the world. The first ever horse racing event in Dubai was held in October 1981 under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Since then, there has been no looking back. The first edition of the Dubai World Cup took place at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in 1996. Back then, there were 11 participating racehorses competing for a prize purse of USD 4M. This racing event was the realisation of the vision that H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum had for the long-term development of the sport in the emirate.
The Nad Al Sheba track hosted the event from 1996 to 2009. In 2010, the Dubai World Cup was transferred to the newly-opened Meydan Racecourse. The racecourse offered all the amenities needed to gratify the horse racing fans who come from all around the world to attend the grand Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Over the course of these years, the event has become one of the most stylish celebrations in the city, attracting high net worth individuals from around the world. Similar to the races in Royal Ascot, the style stakes are very high at the event, with guests dressing to impress.
The Meydan Grandstand also includes a luxury hotel for visitors looking for accommodations, a racing museum, a nine-hole golf course and seating for 60,000 spectators. The complex has been the site of concerts by several notable performers and had held business conferences.
The Dubai World Cup is held on the last Saturday of March every year. This year, however, the event was cancelled owing to the safety concerns arising from the coronavirus outbreak in the UAE. The Dubai World Cup comprises of nine group races, where top-calibre three-year-old and older horses compete for the grand prize.
The competing distance for each of the individual nine racing events varies between 1,200m and 3,200m. The grand race and the namesake of the event itself is a 2,000-meter race ran on dirt. The purse prize for this race alone was set at USD 12 million in 2019, making it the richest race in the world.
Today, the Dubai World Cup has become one of the most highly anticipated horse racing events in the world. It is broadcasted worldwide to millions of viewers and is one of the biggest days on the annual horse racing calendar.
Since its inception, the Dubai World Cup has drawn some of the best racehorses from around the world. In fact, the Dubai World Cup has been won by a number of prominent race horses such as Cigar – the winner of the very first Dubai World Cup.
In the year 2000, Dubai Millennium won the world cup with a record time of 1:59:50. Then there is Thunder Snow who is the only horse to win the Dubai World Cup twice in 2018 and 2019.
The Dubai world cup is one of the biggest horse-racing events in the world, attracting the best jockeys and race horses and tens of thousands of fans. The Meydan Grandstand racecourse, where the event takes place, accommodates up to 60,000 spectators. Planning ahead for your accommodations in time therefore is essential as spaces nearby are grabbed before the event in a frenzy.
So if you’re a participant, a related professional or ( and especially) if you’re a fan, make sure to browse accommodations in Dubai well in advance! Apartments in Meydan City or anywhere around it in Dubai.
That’s all we have for you now. Here are some other helpful links that you can refer to for more information on horse racing in Dubai and the Dubai World Cup.