Dubai: A high-level delegation from Dubai is set to organise the first ever horse race meeting in the city of Chengdu in China on April 6.

The event will stand out for Dubai’s efforts in promoting horse racing globally, but for neutral observers the occasion will mark an important commercial footprint being posted by Dubai through the promotion of a full-fledged equine industry.

The race meet is part of an overall project that Meydan and Chengdu are collaborating on. When the elements fall into place, the vision is to ensure that the latter will be home to a full-fledged racing industry with its corresponding divisions.

“China was always a part of our plans and we wanted to develop a relationship through horse racing,” said Al Tayer. “The heart and soul of our operation is horse racing, but we provide various menus that come with it. We have experience in breeding and other facets of the sport. We look at this industry from every sector though establishing this takes a while.

“We are the first country that managed to obtain an import licence to send horses at this level. So to run a race on Sunday (April 6) illustrates that the hard work for the past three years has paid dividends.

“Horse racing has immense potential in China,” said Al Tayer. “The fact that we don’t promote betting gives us an advantage to be their partner. China is a huge country so there is potential to expand in other areas. More importantly, we want the Chinese to drive this project in the future. They have evinced a desirability to learn and we will show them how we do it while learning from them. As soon as this experience culminates then we will pass it on to them.

“Should there be a requirement to develop the brand beyond racing and beyond this collaboration then we are ready to take the next step.”