Meydan race course Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archive

It's the world's richest horse race attracting the creme de la creme of the racing community, but it's not only the horses who grab the limelight. Recognised on a global scale as an annual event just as much about fashion and style as the action on the turf, the stakes are high for those wanting to make an impression.

Celebrating 16 years of racing and off-track style, The Dubai World Cup is the "must-attend" event on the social calendar.

Whether you choose to spend Dh10,000 on the dress alone or plan to go with just a Dh50 note in your back pocket for the cab ride there and back, everyone is invited.

tabloid! looks at three very different ways to do the Dubai World Cup. There's no right or wrong answer, folks, just go with the option which best suits your mood.

Option 1: No expense spared

The dress code for this prestigious occasion if you're planning on splashing out and heading for the Meydan Grandstand is particularly strict. Lounge suits or national dress for men and modest dress is recommended for women, who are also encouraged to wear hats. Jeans, T-shirts, trainers and shorts are strictly prohibited in the Meydan Grandstand and Parade Ring. This is the spot you come to be seen.

If it's Louis Vuitton and Louboutin all the way, then you have to book the Tiered Restaurant — Meydan's glass-fronted signature restaurant across four tiers. It's perfectly positioned to allow each table amazing views of the racecourse, along with hospitality fit for a princess. For Dh3,000 per head, the day will start with afternoon tea served at your table and include a five-course set menu inclusive of soft drinks and standard house beverages.

Other options include the Sky Bubble Lounge and Sky Rooftop. Set under the iconic crescent roof it is the place to see and be seen and promises to offer one of the best social atmospheres on the day. A sophisticated setting with live entertainment, you can catch the racing action from the highest point of the grandstand from here. However, be prepared to put your hand in your pocket as the package, inclusive of hot and cold canapes in the afternoon, international buffet in the evening and standard spirits and house beverages from 2pm until midnight will set you back Dh1,500 per person.

Why it's worth it: The Sky Bubble has an unbelievable 360° view, making enjoying the racing from here a very unique experience.

Fact: No less than 72 luxurious purpose-built suites house those with hospitality package tickets. The facility now features the world's largest LED screen that's 107 metres wide, ensuring you do not miss a minute of the racing or entertainment action.

Option 2: Value for money

For just Dh350, a ticket for Apron Views will get you the best of both worlds. You get to wear a fancy frock and hat, but the day doesn't have to cost the earth. Apron Views this year will be track facing, giving all Dubai World Cup guests a fantastic view of the racing action. F&B operators include the Irish Village, Barasti, Waxy's, Nelson's, Long's, Rockbottom, Zinc, Round Table Pizza, The Plaice Fish & Chips, Caviar Classic, Wagamama, Dunkin' Donuts and many more. Tickets to Apron Views will also mean you can enjoy the live concert when the racing action is over. But be warned, you won't have the best view. Gates open at 2pm for Apron Views and all outlets will close at 12.30am. Guests can also enjoy the beats of the in-house DJ.

Tip: Arrive early to allow time for parking and gate entrance.

Why take this option: The cheaper ticket option leaves more cash to spend on the dress, hat and bag. The Parade Ring Lawns is located next to the Parade Ring and is open to all Apron Views ticket holders, meaning you get even more for your buck. It is the perfect spot to get close to the thoroughbreds in the Parade Ring for their pre-race parade, and sample the calm before the storm and rising tensions as post time approaches.

Option 3: Cheap and cheerful

They say you never get something for nothing. Wrong. If you'd prefer to come along and catch the action — horses and the live concert — completely free, there is a way to do it. The Meydan Grandstand has a free admission area which gives access to a limited section. Recycle a dress you haven't worn for a while or simply throw on any old thing. A variety of food and beverage outlets are also available in a purpose-designed food court area with dining tables. Visitors are not permitted to bring their own food and drinks. Admission starts from 2pm.

Tip: Arrive super early and bag one of a few seats available boasting excellent views. With sufficient room on the vast apron area between the track and the Grandstand, visitors on the sides of the apron can get a close view of the thoroughbreds in the Parade Ring, before and after the races. When the music starts, you can also enjoy the concert absolutely free but obviously the views are not the best.


UK Brit Award-winner Jessie J is currently packing her suitcase for a trip to the UAE. The Price Tag singer performs at Meydan on Saturday as the grand finale for the Dubai World Cup. Along with her big voice and equally big attitude, she will be joined by superstar DJ Seb Fontaine.

English house music DJ Fontaine will provide the entertainment after the final race has run. The world-renowned DJ and producer is most famous for his hit BBC Radio 1 show and producing tracks for the Outhere Brothers.

Fontaine had his first DJ gig at Crazy Larry's on Kings Road, London, but it wasn't long before he was working the circuit in Ibiza and in many of London's biggest party venues.

The entertainment is free for all those with daytime tickets.

It's anyone's game

The all-new Jaguar Style Stakes is expected to attract the emirate's most beautifully-dressed people who go head-to-head for big titles and even bigger prizes.

The stakes have never been higher in the fashion field, as the fashionistas line up for the annual fashion contest.

It's far from being about who is wearing the most expensive dress, as judges are looking for a unique and well-planned look regardless of cost. It's anybody's game, so don't be shy and get involved.

Make sure you register before the start of the first race at the Style Arena, located in the Apron Views.

There are prizes to be won in four categories, the Style Stakes Lady, Style Stakes Couple, Style Stakes Man and Best Hat.

Top tips

Don't get caught up in the madness of arrival and forget to enter the Pick 7 Competition. You can win great cash prizes. Forms are available at all gates and entry is free.

Enjoy a glass of bubbly or simply experience the heady atmosphere at the Bubble Lounge in Apron Views.

The best place to watch the horses and study their form is from the Parade Ring Lawns. Get hold of a race programme and watch the horses. It's what the day is all about after all.

Car Parking

All routes to the racecourse and grandstand will be clearly sign posted from Shaikh Zayed Road and from the Al Ain/Hatta intersection.

A car park pass is included in the badge pack for hospitality patrons, which should be clearly displayed in the car's windscreen. Car parking for Apron Views will be easily accessible and ticket holders should follow the signs for general parking.

Taxi Service

The Dubai Transport Corporation operates a taxi service from the racecourse and grandstand. The taxi drop-off and pick-up point is located at Gate B.


For tickets, priced Dh350 for Apron Views (general admission), and more information about hospitality packages visit dubaiworldcup.com.

Glamour Studio

If you want to take home a wonderful memory or souvenir of the day, get your photo taken at the on-site photo studio.