Taking place in one of the world’s wealthiest and most modern cities, home to some of the world’s best hotels, the Dubai World Cup is one of the most glamourous events of the many on the annual calendar, returning for 2016 on March 26.
Horse racing first began in the Emirate in 1981, on the dusty Camel Track, which hosted just three races: a sprint, a mile and a mile and a half. Fifteen years later, the inaugural Dubai World Cup was hosted, with eleven of the world’s leading thoroughbreds stepping out onto the newly-refurbished Nad al-Sheba racecourse for the first time. Over the past two decades, the Cup has helped to raise the profile of Dubai in the world of horse racing, and has helped to bring world-class horse racing and breeding back to the Arabian Peninsula.
The Dubai World Cup now draws the attention of millions around the globe every year, and is just as much an event to be seen at on the social calendar, with stakes equally as high in the fashion stakes as they are in the racing and betting. Around 50,000 people attend the race, the world’s richest, the racecourse at Meydan every year, and so making heads turn for the right reasons is no mean feat.
The fashion aspect has also been recognised by the Cup’s organisers themselves, with off-track prizes including best dressed lady, best dressed man and best hat. In pursuit of these ultimate prizes, there’s an incredible amount of outrageous hats and bright dresses on show which would give the fashionistas at Ascot a run for their money.
The rich and famous are drawn to the Dubai World Cup not only as spectators – the closing event also attracts performances from a number of global music icons. Last year, Kylie Minogue brought the event to a close, while this year, Janet Jackson has been announced as having the honours.
Image: Jaguar Mena, available under Creative Commons