Meydan track before race
Rashid bin Dalmouk openend the Dubai Equestrian Procurement Forum, the region’s first equine industry exhibition at Meydan. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai will soon see a number of new initiatives that will strengthen its position as a regional hub for the horse racing and equine industry and bring new opportunities to the sector, said Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Equestrian Club and Dubai Racing Club.

Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk revealed this after opening the Dubai Equestrian Procurement Forum, the region’s first equine industry exhibition that brings all stakeholders, including suppliers, sellers, buyers, importers, industry experts and racing clubs, under one roof to strengthen cooperation in the multi-billion-dollar industry. Opportunities emerging from future projects in the sector worth $400 million were high on the event’s agenda.

More than 200 decision makers from a range of international companies specialised in the equestrian industry participated in the Dubai Equestrian Procurement Forum held at the Meydan Grandstand. “As the equine industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be many fresh opportunities for industry stakeholders including manufacturers, suppliers and technology providers. The industry is growing and we will announce new initiatives for the industry in the near future,” Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk said following the inauguration.

New products

“The Dubai Equestrian Procurement Forum will now become an annual industry event that will unveil new products and services and bring new opportunities for all of us,” he added.

More than 50 exhibition stalls displayed various products ranging from equine hospitals, veterinary clinics, fodder suppliers, manufacturers of equine industry products, equine logistics operators, and equine industry related services for buyers at the exhibition.

Dubai Equestrian Club and Dubai Racing Club, two of the largest horse racing organisations in the Middle East, joined hands to host the Dubai Equestrian Procurement Forum at the Meydan Racecourse, the largest horse-racing hub in the Middle East.

The Forum brought together horse owners, breeders and industry professionals to showcase the latest technologies, products and services relating to the equine industry.

Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum said: “Guided by the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, efforts to enhance the growth and development of the equestrian industry have always been among our highest priorities. We have constantly been committed to extend support to various sectors which serve equestrian clubs and stables and are keen to ensure that the products supplied to the industry are of the highest standard. The Dubai Equestrian Procurement Forum brings together the industry’s best suppliers to showcase their products and services.”

The UAE is home to some of the best equestrian clubs in the world, which have witnessed great growth and gained global appreciation. This makes them the ideal target market for new products, services and suppliers, with an average annual spending of more than US$100 million (AED367 million).

The annual cost of caring for a racehorse training in the UAE is about US$30,000 (AED 110,000). The total money spent by the sector in the country for racehorse training is US$570 million (AED2.09 billion).

Noel Greenway, Managing Partner, Great Minds Event Management, said, “This is a great industry event and a very successful one. The participation, the quality of participation and the number of visitors – all exceeded our expectations.

“As a result, this will now become an annual industry event and today’s event creates a good benchmark for the industry.

Flat race

Dubai has a proud history of horse racing, having hosted its first flat race in October 1981 in the Nad Al Sheba area. The foundation of Dubai Racing Club in 1992 and the flagship Dubai World Cup meeting in 1996 strengthened the UAE’s and Dubai’s profile as a global racing hub. The local horse racing sector took another leap forward in 2010 with the opening of the iconic Meydan Racecourse, which became the new headquarters of the Dubai World Cup with a capacity to accommodate more than 60,000 spectators.

Dubai Racing Club organises racing events at Meydan Racecourse from November to April of each year, including the Dubai World Cup (DWC). A glittering night of racing, the DWC has a total prize money of $30.5 million across nine races, including $12 million in prize money for the Dubai World Cup’s Group 1 race.

Meydan Racecourse plays a major role on the international horse racing map, and Dubai Racing Club manages 15 stables dedicated to training horses.

The Dubai Equestrian Club was established in 2002 to organise Endurance, Showjumping and Dressage events at local and international levels at the Dubai International Endurance City and Emirates Equestrian Centre. Dubai Equestrian Club manages 32 Endurance stables, including M7 Stables, F3 Stables and MRM stables.