Dubai: The Dubai World Cup hogged the major part of the limelight after ending as one of four top prize winners for the second year in succession at the second edition of the Sports Events Ranking System held late on Wednesday.
The world’s richest single night of thoroughbred horse racing, with a total prize purse of $27.25 million (Dh100 million), had landed the same honour at the inaugural edition of the annual awards night last year as well, along with the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the DP World Tour Golf Championship and the Dubai Tour cycle race.
And while the remaining three winners were pushed further down, the Dubai World Cup managed to hold on to its own as Dubai’s sporting diamond in the crown.
Held for the first time in 1996, the Dubai World Cup has grown each year with the next edition scheduled for March 25, 2017, bound to attract a field of some of the best champion horses from across the globe.
“This is a very proud moment for us all at Meydan and in the racing fraternity to be considered the star among sports events in the UAE. We are proud to be contributing towards the growth of sport in Dubai and within the horse racing community,” Mohammad Al Sheh’hi, Board Member, Meydan, told Gulf News after receiving the five-star award from Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) at the foot of the iconic Burj Khalifa.
Also in attendance was Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai Department of Information, along with Mattar Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Sports Council (DSC), Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of DSC and Mohammad Al Kamali, General Secretary, UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC).
The other three sports events that were also presented with the five-star category was the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, the BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals and the Du Football Champion UAE Schools and Street Cups.
During the inaugural year, a total of 87 events organised under the auspices of the DSC had participated compared to more than 135 that took part this year. Of these, four were awarded the highest rating of five stars, another 106 were given a four-star status, while another 20 got a three-star rating.
The ranking system for sporting events follows a three-tier structure consisting of grading of sports competitions by organisers, spectators and the DSC. The actual ranking system has a variety of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and set criteria that go on to determine the quality of the event organised.
“This year, we have seen the growth of our ranking system as seen by the rise in the number of competitions that participated. Goaded by our leaders, we are always looking at ways to raise the standard of sport and the way events are organised in Dubai. And each year we try to raise the bar,” Saeed Hareb, General Secretary, said.
“We are only in the second year of this ranking system. We have a long way to go, and we are keen to ensure the growth of sport and allied events along with the growth being experienced by Dubai and the UAE,” he added.
Six new awards were added this year depending on the contribution made by a sports event in specific sectors of society. The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the DP World Tour Championship, the Al Ahli Dubai Karate Open, the Al Marmoom Heritage Festival, the Dubai International Sports Conference and the Reebok Spartan Race were among the first winners this season.
SPORTS EVENTS RANKING SYSTEM
Five Stars: Dubai World Cup (second year); Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon; BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals; Du Football Champion UAE Schools and Streets Cups
Best Sport Event in the Category of Event Development: Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
Best Sport Event in the Category of Economic Development: DP World Tour Championship
Best Sport Event in the Category of Sport Development: Al Ahli Dubai Karate Open
Best Sport Event in the Category of Social Development: Al Marmoom Heritage Festival
Best Sport Event in the Category of Media Development: Dubai International Sports Conference
Best Sport Event in the Category of Environmental Development: Reebok Spartan Race