The biggest night in global horse racing returns to Meydan Racecourse this weekend for the 26th running of the Dubai World Cup.
A capacity crowd of 80,000 is expected for the first time since 2019 for the nine-race card worth $30.5 million in prize money (up from $26.5 million last time around), culminating in the $12 million Dubai World Cup itself. The likes of Hot Rod Charlie, Country Grammer, Midnight Bourbon Aero Trem, Chuwa Wizard and Godolphin’s Magny Cours are bidding to join the roll of honour alongside greats such as Thunder Snow, American Pharoah, Curlin, Invasor and all the way back to Cigar in 1996.
Alongside the racing action there are plenty of other events to entertain, including the Style Stakes, closing ceremony fireworks and after-race concert featuring Becky Hill and Rudimental.
Dubai World Cup night racecard
1 Dubai Kahayla Classic 2,000m (a10f), dirt, $1m
2 Godolphin Mile, 1,600m (a8f), dirt, $1m
3 Dubai Gold Cup, 3,200m (a16f), turf, $1m
4 Al Quoz Sprint, 1,200m (a6f), turf, $1.5m
5 UAE Derby, 1,900m (a9.5f), dirt, $1m
6 Dubai Golden Shaheen, 1,200m (a6f), dirt, $2m
7 Dubai Turf, 1,800m (a9f), turf, $5m
8 Dubai Sheema Classic, 2,410m (a12F), turf, $6m
9 Dubai World Cup, 2,000m (a10F), dirt, $12m
If you go
The Meydan Grandstand will see 80,000 racegoers in attendance, with the Apron Views hosting the Style Stakes throughout the day, offering prizes for Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Couple, Creative Hat and Creative Outfit, while the Golden Circle is the best spot for the post-race concert. All seats in the Granstand offer views of the racing action from the parade, all the way to the finishing post and winners’ circle.
After the dirt and turf have been torn up by the nine races, the traditional closing ceremony and fireworks will light up the sky before Brit Award winner and The Voice star Becky Hill, drum-and-bass ensemble Rudimental, DJ Sigala and local artist Ayesha Reid bring the curtain down with the after-race concert, which should begin around 9.30pm.
Most wins (jockey): Jerry Bailey 4
Most (owner): Godolphin 9
Most wins (horse): Thunder Snow 2
Tickets for the night begin from Dh50 for general admission, while there are hospitality packages available. All tickets allow racegoers entry to the closing ceremony and post-race concert. Tickets can be purchased on-site at Meydan Racecourse Gate B or at the Dubai Racing Club’s website.
What they said
Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, the Chairman of Dubai Racing Club, said: “We are so happy to have everyone back here for what will be a fantastic 26th running of the Dubai World Cup meeting. The atmosphere will be absolutely electrifying. The quality of the horses, trainers, owners and jockeys who have assembled is better than ever and we are looking forward to a superb day of racing with our guests from all over the world.”
Mark your diary
When: The Dubai World Cup is on Saturday, March 26, with the first race — the Dubai Sheema Classic — at 3.45pm. Gates open at noon.
Where: The action takes place at Meydan Racecourse, the famous venue since 2010 when it moved from its original home at Nad Al Sheba.
How to get there
If you are driving from either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, take Exit 47 from Sheikh Zayed Road on to Al Meydan Road D69 towards Nad Al Sheba, and simply follow the signs to Meydan Racecourse.
If you are on the way from Al Ain, take Exit 7, then take Nad Al Sheba direction on Al Meydan Road D69 (South) and follow the signs to Meydan Racecourse.
RTA also operates a pick-up/drop-off point for cabs next to Gate B of the Meydan Grandstand.
Where to watch
If you are not going along to watch the action, you can follow all the races on Dubai Racing TV and the Dubai Racing Club online stream on social media.
While the World Cup does not adhere to a strict dress code, it is recommended to wear smart/casual wear if you are not getting dressed up to impress in the Style Stakes. Oh, and no flip-flops as Dubai Racing Club reserves the right to refuse entry to any person considered inappropriately dressed.
Covid-19 protocols mandated by the UAE government mean visitors must wear face masks in all indoor areas of the venue.