Dubai: This year marks a seminal milestone for UAE sport - the 10th anniversary since the unveiling of Meydan Racecourse - a majestic architectural wonder in the middle of Nad Al Sheba as a manifestation of the country’s progress and vision.
Launched in 2010 to coincide with the 15th running of the Dubai World Cup, one of horseracing’s most prestigious events, Meydan has been hailed around the world as one of the the sport’s most influential venues.
Since that year, Meydan has helped drive the sport of horseracing higher and higher - into the upper echelons of equine activities in the four corners of the world.
It has been an incredible journey since the Brazilian-bred horse Gloria de Campeo became the first winner of the Dubai World Cup to be staged at Dubai’s newest centre of attraction.
The state-of-the-art venue, which boasts a five-star hotel, golf course, tennis academy, an equine museum, a marina and a Meydan City. was created through the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The racecourse was the talk of the town and the place to be seen at with the Whos Who of the horseracing family gracing the facility - which features several Michelin Star restaurants and a 72 track-side corporates suites for entertaining.
The 2,400 m left-handed turf track, which hosts the two world’s richest turf races the $6 mllion Dubai Turf and the $6million Dubai Sheema Classic, is regarded by jockeys as among the best of it’s kind in the world.
The dirt track, on which the $12 million Dubai World Cup is contested, has a reputation of challenging both horse and rider.
Once the Dubai World Cup meeting is over, it is the turn of international stars like Elton John, Santana, Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson to keep the thousands of racegoers entertaining and partying well into the early hours of the morning.
It was the same year that Hamdan Sports Complex, a multi-purpose sports arena, was opened and it hosted the 2010 FINA World Swimming Championships.
The first ever running of the Jebel Ali Mile, is a horse race for horses aged four and over, was run at Jebel Ali and was won by the horse Jet Express.
Abu Dhabi also added to what was a landmark year when Ferrari World on Yas Island was officially opened in November together with Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster.
The year 2000 was without doubt one of the most celebrated years for sport and progress in the country - which also saw Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building, being inaugurated among other landmarks.
2010: A milestone year for Dubai
January 4: Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building opens
January 28 : Meydan Racecourse launched
February 4: New oilfield, named Jalila, launched
July 1: Al Maktoum International Airport begins operations
October 10: Hamdan Sports Complex opens
November 4: Abu Dhabi Ferrari World opens in Yas Island