Dubai: Horse racing’s growth in the UAE has been reinforced in emphatic fashion by the increase in prize money of the prestigious Dubai World Cup (Group 1) to a staggering $12 million (Dh44 million).

The 2,000-metre dirt contest, which began life as a $4 million race in 1996, is now the second richest race in the world after the $16 million Pegasus Cup which is held in Gulfstream Park, Florida, US.

The prize money boost for the Dubai showpiece which takes place on the last Saturday of March each year is a result of a directive by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who created the race as the definitive championship of the world.

The increase goes into effect for the 2019 Dubai World Cup which will take place on Saturday, March 30.

In addition, the prize money for the other races held at the Meydan Racecourse on Dubai World Cup day has also been increased taking the total prize fund for the eight-race extravagaza to $35 million (up $5 million from next year).

Saeed Al Tayer, Board Chairman of Meydan Group, thanked Shaikh Mohammad for his continuous  support for the development of horse racing and the Dubai World Cup.


2019 Dubai World Cup: Prize money break down

$10 to $12 - Dubai World Cup
$2 to $2.5m - Dubai Golden Shaheen
$1 to $2m - Al Quoz Sprint
$2 to $2.5m - UAE Derby
$1m to $1.5m - Godolphin Mile
$1m to $1.5m - Dubai Gold Cup
Unchanged at $6m - Dubai Turf & Dubai Sheema Classic 

World Richest Flat races

$16m Pegasus Cup (USA)
$12m Dubai World Cup (Dubai)
$10m The Everest (Australia)
$6.2m Breeders’ Cup Classic (USA)
$6m Dubai Turf (Dubai)
$6m Dubai Sheema Classic (Dubai)
$5.4m Melbourne Cup (Aust)
$5.2m Japanese Derby (Tokyo)
$4 m Breeders’ Cup Turf (USA)
$3.2m Hong Kong Cup (Hong Kong)