Dubai World Cup 2023 – Meydan

Written by Silvana Fitzpatrick

If you haven’t yet experienced the thrill of a Dubai race day, the explosion of fireworks, and the anticipation and cheer of the racegoers, your chance is coming up this Saturday 25th of March at Meydan Racecourse.

Dubai World Cup always delivers a most spectacular race day and is one of the most anticipated events on the horse racing calendar as well as the social calendar.

As one of the biggest sporting events in the region, the Dubai World Cup has lined up a spectacular number of runners this year, with no less than 1,600 entries and 892 individual horses from 21 countries competing for the $30.5million prize across nine races on the day. The races will feature championship events in every division with famous racing tracks and significant purses to be awarded, as the horse race fever is slowly taking over the city.


Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, first launched the Dubai World Cup in 1996 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, but since 2006, it has been hosted at Meydan. March 25th, 2023, will mark the 27th edition of the Dubai World Cup.

Thunder Snow, owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin racing operation, made history as the only horse to win the Dubai World Cup twice - in 2018 and 2019 - a remarkable feat that had never been accomplished before. Cigar, a US-trained horse ridden by jockey Jerry Bailey, was the first-ever race winner, and last year’s champion was Country Grammer, ridden by the legendary Italian jockey Frankie Dettori, who has won the Dubai World Cup four times.

The G1 race sponsored by Emirates Airline is the major attraction of the event, and has drawn in an incredible 171 participants, including 24 individual G1 winners.


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This year’s strongest contender is Country Grammer, the defending champion, and a US thoroughbred, who won big in 2022. He is the favourite to win this year's title as he enters the race on Saturday under the guidance of the legendary trainer Bob Baffert to defend his championship title.

Over the years, the Dubai World Cup has seen some of the greatest horses in history claim the coveted title, including Arrogate, Cigar, Curlin, and Dubai Millennium. This is your chance to witness the competition and see who will join the ranks of the elite winners at the Dubai World Cup.

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Fashion Statement

There is much more to this event than just horse racing, however.

While many are excited about the strength of the fields for the 2023 Dubai World Cup meeting, the ladies and gents in attendance will surely make a strong fashion statement, as they do each year.

Dubai World Cup at Meydan is an occasion to see and be seen, an event where the fashion stakes are just as high as the racing stakes. Many plan their outfits weeks in advance, and for the ladies, it is all about finding that awe-inspiring outfit and a show-stopping hat.

Fascinators in bold colours and geometric shapes are often seen, and spring pastels and summer brights are a popular choice. Some women opt for a more tailored look with trouser suits and waistcoats, adding a touch of sophistication to their ensemble. For the gents, it is all about getting suited and booted in their finest attire, polished shoes, and elegant accessories.

For the ladies, there is no hat too big, or too small. Wearing a fascinator shaped like the Burj Khalifa might be a bit over the top but is not uncommon to spot such headgear at the event.

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Dubai World Cup has plenty of entertainment in store for guests, each year. Since this year the event is taking place during the Holy Month of Ramadan, organisers are going the extra mile to ensure they deliver a memorable experience for those who celebrate the Holy Month at the racecourse.

The Sky Bubble, a private eatery situated on the Meydan Grandstand rooftop, offers unparalleled views of the Meydan Racecourse and Dubai's skyline. Despite being detached from the general racing action, it has closed-circuit TV monitors that provide live coverage of the race, so guests won't miss any significant updates.

This year, the Sky Bubble package includes gourmet finger food, as well as Iftar and soft drinks. For those who want a pre-Iftar snack, afternoon tea is also available upon request.

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Apron Views, located directly in front of the Grandstand, is the perfect spot to experience all the excitement of the DWC. It boasts a food court, featuring restaurants like Barasti, Bubble Lounge, McGettigan's, and The Stables, as well as the renowned Style Stakes competition for fashion-savvy guests looking to make a statement. Apron Views is a bustling hub of entertainment and activities for those who dress to impress.

Finally, you can opt for The Premium, an outdoor seating area in the Meydan Grandstand that offers a fantastic view of all the racing action. With a welcoming atmosphere, it is an ideal spot to socialise with other sports enthusiasts. The Premium includes afternoon tea, finger foods, house beverages, and of course, premium drinks. For those looking for a luxurious experience, premium suites begin at AED 4,900 per person and include unlimited food, various drinks, private seating, and access to Apron Views.

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Dubai – Global Equestrian Sports Hub

Dubai is a prestigious hub for the racing and equine industries, as well as a significant focal point for the global equestrian community, with a rich history of traditions in horseback riding, racing, breeding, and other equestrian activities. The city is actively contributing to the equestrian industry's growth and development, in addition to other initiatives, particularly with the extension of the racing season and a significant boost in prize money.

The extensive calendar hosted in Dubai for the 2022–2023 horse racing season shows Dubai's effort and commitment to introduce initiatives that enhance the global equestrian industry and empower the community of horse owners, trainers, and other equestrian experts.

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It is undeniable that a day at the races has a certain prestige attached to the event. For many, attending a racing event has become a tradition and a cultural thing, an opportunity to celebrate the majesty of horses who are revered by people all over the world for their display of bravery and perseverance. But one thing is certain: the beauty of horse racing is timeless.