Dubai World Cup - The World's Richest Horse Race
The Dubai World Cup is one of those big p...., er, social events in Dubai that everyone marks on their calendar as a night of importance, and the next morning, wonders what happened. The event consists of a great deal of jolly gallavanting and cavorting about in a semi-public area. Until 2009 that was in the International Village at the Nad Al Sheba horse racing course but moved to the new Meydan Racecourse for 2010. There are also some horses that run around in circles and win a few dirhams for their owners, but no one pays much attention to that. Think of a more civilised version of the Dubai Rugby 7s with posh clothes and hats, and you'll get the idea. Unfortunately, the mud and rain still accompanies the Dubai World Cup more frequently than it should but everyone still has good fun.
The DWC is hosted by several horse racing clubs in the UAE - the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Dubai Racing Club, Jebel Ali Racecourse, and the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club. The first year of the Dubai World Cup was 1996, held at Nad Al Sheba racetrack. From 2010, the DWC will be held at the new Meydan Racecourse, under construction from 2008-2009 (and hopefully finished before the 2010 DWC starts).
Horse racing and betting go together like fish and chips, and for those punters living outside the UAE, your fish won't be chipless, so to speak. However, as gambling is forbidden in the UAE, punters drink more instead. Bad luck if you think you're going to bet online - the TRA (Telecom Regulatory Authority) restricts access to gambling websites. Nonetheless, the local newspapers will still tell you the odds from overseas betting agencies.
Godolphin Seven Stars
Godolphin (Sheikh Mohammed's racing stable) offer the Godolphin Seven Stars competition. You bet ... ah ... guess which 7 Godolphin horses will perform the best during the March to December horse racing season. The winner for 2006 got US$100,000, a first class flight to Dubai to watch the 2007 Dubai World Cup, and a week in the Burj Al Arab hotel. The winner for 2007 didn't fare quite so well: $50,000, 5 nights at a "luxury hotel" in Dubai, and first class flights. Competition starts in March of each year.
Dubai World Cup Style Stakes
Residents of Dubai get togged up in their poshest kit to go to the Dubai World Cup, and can then enter the Dubai World Cup Style Stakes, a fashion competition with prizes for the Best Hat, the Best Dressed Lady, the Best Dressed Couple, and the Least Badly Dressed Bloke.
Dubai World Cup races (2007 DWC, 2008 DWC, 2009 DWC)
Dubai World Cup background
The Dubai World Cup is an annual Thoroughbred horse race held at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai initiated the first Dubai World Cup in 1996. Prize money was upped to $6 million in 2004. The Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) is the governing body for all horse racing in the UAE. Chairman of the ERA is HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Dubai World Cup winners
15th Dubai World Cup 2010 - Saturday 27 March 2010
14th Dubai World Cup 2009 - Saturday 28 March 2009
13th Dubai World Cup 2008 - Saturday 29 March 2008
As it turned out, the 2008 Dubai World Cup was memorable for many people in a less than splendid way. The good news was no rain, but that meant the crowds waiting to enter (for several hours due to a shortage of metal detectors) ended up fried rather than drenched. Residents wait with muted enthusiasm for the 2009 Dubai World Cup. There are rumours of some residents who have set up camp for the next 12 months at the venue so they'll be first in line in 2009, or they're just the sensible people who left their cars at home ... still waiting for a taxi to take them home.
In an excellent example of consistency, the free bus service that ferried punters between car parks and stadium entrances was reported to be a complete shambles. Is there any event in Dubai where the organisers have successfully arranged transportation? The CEO of the Dubai Racing Club, Frank Gabriel Jnr, did say sorry apparently, which probably didn't make people feel a whole lot better. Our suggestion for the 2009 Dubai World Cup is to book a helicopter and buy VIP tickets with at least a dozen Vs. Or watch it on TV at the pub.
12th Dubai World Cup 2007 - Saturday 31 March 2007
Winner was Invasor from America, ridden by Fernando Jara. Second place was Premium Tap, another American horse. Third place was Bullish Luck from Hong Kong. Discreet Cat, ridden by Frankie Dettori (L Dettori for Lanfranco Dettori), lucked out this time. Dettori won the 2006 DWC on Electrocutionist, and also won the 2006 UAE Derby on Discreet Cat - Invasor came 4th in that race. Corporate and hospitality dining packages were sold out.
Last update Tuesday 12-Jun-2012