Mohammad Al Mahari Al Hashemi, Shareef Al Halawani and ERA representative Yasir Mabrouk at the Jebel Ali Racecourse on Tuesday. Image Credit: Leslie Wilson Jr/Gulf News

Dubai: A senior official from Emirates has stressed the airline’s support and sponsorship of sport across all platforms is the best pathway to connect with its clients and patrons.

Mohammad Al Mahari Al Hashmi, manager, Corporate Sales, UAE, pointed out that Emirates was ‘not only an airline’ but a company that ‘wants to be an integral part of the UAE community.

“We have always been there to support the development of sports in Dubai and the UAE,” he said.

“One of the major sports that we always aspire to support is horse racing and equestrian events is because it really matches our client base and business model that we associate with our brand.

“So sponsoring horse racing at Jebel Ali is a fantastic opportunity for us to share and support their interests and their lifestyle in order to build a better relationship with them,” he added.

Al Hashmi noted that the airline has been the title sponsor of the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) since its inception in 1996 and Godolphin, the Dubai-owned global racing stable.

Emirates has key relationships with some of the biggest carnivals and races around the world including the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the Singapore Derby.

As one of the oldest sponsorships in the UAE Emirates portfolio also includes some of the most prominent brands within football, the Rugby World Cup, ATP and WTA Tours, the French Open and the US Open, the Ryder Cup, Formula One and the ICC and ICC Elite Umpires.

Meanwhile, as Jebel Ali Racecourse host its eighth meeting of the season on Friday, Emirates sponsor all seven races on a competitive looking card.

The showpiece race of the afternoon is a seven-furlong conditions event which will be contested by a high-quality field of seven including dual course winner and Jebel Ali-trained Draco.

The American import who is trained on the course by Frenchman Nicholas Bachalard will be looking to bounce back to his winning ways following a modest performance at Meydan two weeks ago.

With both their trainer’s and jockey’s championships looking very tight the top the domestic racing season in the UAE has assumed greater significance in what has been a stellar year for the sport.

Top 3 Jockeys

UAE 2018-2019 Season

Richard Mullen 28

Tadhg O’Shea 27

Connor Beasley 22

Top 5 Trainers

Ernst Oertel 29

Satish Seemar 28

Eric Lemartinel 23

Doug Watson 22

Ahmad Bin Harmash 18