Over the past couple of decades, Dubai has transformed itself into one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. There’s so much to see and do. Whether you’re looking for sporting adventures, luxury shopping, or fabulous nightlife, you’ll never be short of options.
And what if you’re a horse-racing enthusiast, who loves nothing more than the excitement of the track? Congratulations, you’ve come to a mecca for the sport!
Dubai has four major racetracks. Meydan, the Dubai Camel Race Club, the Jebel Ali Racecourse, and Nad Al Sheba. The season runs from October to April.
Dubai World Cup
The legendary Dubai World Cup, held every year since 1996 (except for 2020), at the Meydan track. In 2021, prize money totaled over $12million, with the winner, Mystic Guide, ridden by Luis Saez, earning over $7 million.
In Dubai, the atmosphere and excitement of the races are enough in themselves, and there’s no racetrack betting- which makes it a much more family-friendly activity.
Enjoy the adrenaline and excitement of seeing magnificent, world-class horses in action. Then, when you get home, stick to online sites such as casimba.com for your hobby.
If you’re looking for an experience that really takes you into the heart of traditional Gulf culture, don’t miss the opportunity to watch some camel racing. It’s fun and really gets the adrenaline pumping. These races attract competitors from all over the region and offer huge purses for the winners.
You may be surprised to see that the camels don’t have riders. Small boys were used in the past, but have been replaced by bots, which guide the animals. It’s a real blend of ancient heritage and ultra-modern technology.
Typically camel races take place in the mornings, on Fridays and Saturdays. The season runs from October till April. Although it’s free to watch, it’s best to book a place a few days ahead to avoid being turned away due to huge crowds.
What makes these races even more exciting is that spectators follow along in buses or 4x4s, so you’ll really feel immersed in the action.
If you love horse racing but want to experience something that goes way beyond the confines of the racetrack, endurance racing is a must-see during your trip to Dubai. Also known as ‘the sport of a million steps’, these races can require rides of up to 120km.
Stunningly beautiful Arabian horses are well-adapted for tough, long-distance endurance races over the most difficult terrain, and veterinary checks are carried out to protect the welfare of the animals, which are often worth thousands of dollars. As with camel races, spectators follow the competitors so you’ll really get close to the action.
The UAE is increasingly playing host to prestigious international events such as the FEI World Endurance Championship, which attracts the best in the region and offers huge prizes.