Find the best Dubai World Cup Betting Odds at BUSR. Once known as the richest horse racing event in the world, the 28th edition of this sensational event is set to take place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 31st, 2024.
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The Group I Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates, stands alone at the summit of international horse racing. As horse racing entered a new era with the changeover of centuries, it was the Dubai World Cup, inaugurated in 1996, that paved the way forward.
With the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, in general, hosting what is recognized as the thoroughbred "World Championship." Every thoroughbred in the world today descends from the three Arabian stallions exported from this part of the world - the Darley Arabian, the Byerley Turk and the Godolphin Arabian.
If anyone knows how much it costs to stage Saturday's lavish Dubai World Cup horse race, they're not saying.
Once known as the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup hands out $15.25 million in prize money alone, and costs millions more to organize, including flying in horses from Japan, the United States, South Africa and Europe.
But the Nad Al Sheba racetrack -- and the United Arab Emirates -- doesn't allow betting, so there is little income to offset the millions laid out to hold the one-day, once-a-year spectacle.
Even entry and parking are free, allowing poor immigrant families to mingle among the world's wealthy racing aficionados who've jetted in for the glamorous event.
Sponsors' fees and broadcast rights recoup a portion of the costs, but most are simply paid for from the pockets of Dubai's royal family, the Maktoums. The family, incidentally, owns the powerful Dubai-based Godolphin stable, with several horses running on the day's seven-race card.
"It's basically a tool to promote Dubai," said Matt Howard, spokesman for the Dubai Racing Club.
With the race expected to reach one billion households, the Maktoum family stands to reap its dividends by pitching this beachfront sheikdom as one of the world's hottest luxury destinations.
They might also use the race to showcase Dubai as one of the earth's most cosmopolitan cities.
Here’s a typical scenario of the race:
Crowds milling in Nad Al Sheba's grandstands, clubhouses and on the lawns covering the gamut of nationalities.
Emirati men in long white dishdasha robes strolling with women in black head-to-toe chadors and copper-colored facial masks. Pakistani men in skullcaps decorated in glittering cut glass consulting their racing forms, alongside Indian women in bright, billowing saris.
Westerners in sharp suits and dresses, with audacious hats, thronged at a food pavilion, quaffing champagne and watching fashion shows.
At the other end of the grandstand, Somali men in skullcaps and white robes knelt in prayer, foreheads pressed to the grass.
Beyond the track, with a backdrop of Dubai's glimmering modern skyscrapers, camel trainers walk their prize beasts amid the sand dunes. Camels also race at Nad Al Sheba, in another age-old tradition among Arabs.