The $10 Million Race to be Held at The New $2 Billion Meydan Track
The $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race, is slated to be held on March 27, 2010 at the new Meydan Racetrack in Dubai. The complex however is open and the first races of the season took place the last week in January at the start of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
The new complex cost $2 billion to build and is quite unlike anything else in the horse racing world. In part this is due to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the ruler of Dubai and the driving force behind the racing region. In something out of another era, he had a special route built to the venue just so he can avoid traffic and arrive by boat. The complex and the Dubai creek are now linked by a 4 kilometer canal so the ruler can travel with ease and avoid any log jams that build up in the falcon shaped parking lot which has a capacity for 10,000 cars.
The Sheik did not only spend money on himself as the facility was built to specifications beyond what most American or European racing fans could possibly imagine. Touted as the "new global home for elite horse racing" the park was completed in unequaled luxury and racing technology. The Grandstand can hold 60,000 spectators and also incorporates a luxury hotel, IMAX movie theater, 6 haute cuisine restaurants and the Meydan Museum. The hotel is shaped so that almost all of the rooms have an unobstructed view of the race course. If you'd like to arrive by yacht, like the Sheikh himself, you can even get a berth for your boat on race night and catch all the action with out leaving the comfort of your yacht. They have even booked Sting to perform in March. Let's not forget the horses as it also has top of the line breeding and training facilities and is home to the Dubai Racing Club. The course is comprised of a 1750 meter all weather surface and 2,400 meter turf track.
There will be some racing fans who will lament if you can't drink and bet, no gambling allowed in The United Arab Emirates, what is the point. Others will probably be thrilled by a luxury complex where the horses themselves are focus rather than the gambling. In any event it is certainly unlike anything else in the racing world.