Real Life Fantasy City, a Visionary Sheik, and Thoroughbred Racing’s New Order
It is about the beauty of the horse…
Rising from the desert is a real life “City of the Future”, there is something from the Arabian Nights, awe-inspiring, a sleek glass building glows high above the manicured race track below.
It is an opulent, futuristic setting befitting one of the richest horse races in the word, the Dubai World Cup features a $10-M prize, which was the focus of the runners world last weekend, featuring the world’s greatest race horses, their influential owners and millions in prize money but no on track betting: the city, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The country’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has “dug deep” spending his own money and resources to ensure Dubai is Tier 1 on the international horse racing map.
“Prestige has to do with the tradition and culture of the region,” said the CEO of the Dubai World Cup “We are still very young.”
Launched in Y 1996, the Dubai World Cup is a relatively new player on the horse racing circuit, it is carving out a name as an internationally renowned competition has taken huge investment on the part of its sponsors.
While the US and Europe battled austerity measures, the Gulf’s wealthy horse loving Sheikhs have spent billions of dollars into boosting the region’s racing status.
For the last 20+ years Sheik Mohammed has been the most influential man in the horse racing world.
He breeds thoroughbreds, he buys them, he competes them, he does everything. He in the game and willing to spread his wealth around.
It’s part of a campaign by Gulf States to become a premier sporting destination, and not just for horses.
Qatar will be the first Arab state to host the FIFA World Cup in Y 2022, while investors across the region continue to buy up European football teams.
Among the big players are the Qatar Investment Authority, which owns France’s Paris Saint-Germain, and Kuwaiti businessman Fawaz Al Hasawi, who bought English club Nottingham Forest.
Bahrain hosts the regions Gulf Air Formula One Grand Prix motor race.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the theme park capitals of the world people flock there by the millions annually.
Now, the $1-B Meydan Racecourse, home of the Dubai World Cup, is the crown jewel in Sheik Mohammed’s racing empire, there is nothing like it anywhere in the world.
The grandstand alone is 1.6 kilometers long, while the site boasts a 285-room luxury hotel with roof-top pool, a marina, racing museum, and IMAX theater, everything about it is 1st Class.
It is futuristic, high tech, new and spotless, glass and metal. It has been described as “like a Spaceship from ‘Star Wars,” worlds apart from the US southern classic Kentucky Derby’s Churchill Downs.
The UAE new racing circuit is forging a name for itself, but the region’s passion for horses is 100’ds of years old.
The thoroughbred we know today dates back to three Arab horses brought to Britain around the turn of the 17th Century.
The horse is a very significant part of people’s lives in Arabia, people love the sport and they love the culture.
It is about the beauty of the horse.
Have a terrific weekend