Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup

Dubai World Cup

Every year the last Saturday in March is designated as the date for the annual Dubai World Cup.  The World Cup, which is hosted at the racetrack Meydan, is the richest day in horse racing in the world. According to the web site, this year’s Dubai World Cup was a $35 million dollar race day.  That’s quite a payday! All the best horses, jockeys and trainers in the world race in Dubai on that day.

Dubai Racing Form
Nothing wrong with little positive vibes!

The temperatures can get pretty hot during the day so the races begin at 3:45pm in Dubai and go on throughout the evening. This year the temperature was 34 degrees Celsius, which equals to 95 degrees Fahrenheit!  But the warm weather doesn’t keep many people away.  More than 50,000 people attended this event, including many international and national celebrities.


2019 Dubai World Cup Crowd
The warm temps didn’t keep people away from the races! Photo courtesy of Ahmed Ramzan of the Gulf News

According to Wiktionary, the word Meydan means in Arabic, a plaza or a square where people congregate.  Meydan is a lovely development in Dubai.  It not only contains the world-famous horse racetrack (they also have camel racing), but also a luxury hotel on the property. It’s located just 15 minutes from the heart of Dubai and can be reached easily by the highway.  Racing starts in November and ends in March with the World Cup.

Meydan Hotel in Dubai
Meydan’s first class luxury hotel

Meydan Hotel is built-in the form of a wave in motion. The lines and the architecture of the building are amazing. It’s the first (and probably only) 5-star trackside hotel in the world.

Meydan Hotel
The Meydan Hotel is patterned after the motion of waves
Bubbly Horse visits Meydan Racetrack in Dubai
Lovely architecture at Meydan

My birthday always falls around World Cup day so a group of us get together for breakfast (due to the 8 hour time difference) and birthday cake to watch the races. It’s always so fun to watch with friends since I’ve been to Dubai and toured Meydan.

Birthday Cake
We have a fun tradition of celebrating my birthday on the Dubai World Cup Race Day

It’s interesting to see jockeys from all over the world that we never know about in Kentucky.  Most of these jockeys don’t ride during Keeneland or the Derby or in any other major racetrack in the United States for that matter.  That goes for horses and trainers as well.  It’s can be difficult to bet due to the international selection of jockeys, trainers, and horses that are almost unknown here.

I remembered that when I visited Meydan I didn’t see any wagering windows or electronic betting windows.  Upon asking our guide where the terminals were located I found out it is against the law to gamble in Dubai.  The attendance at the race is purely for the love of horse races and the event. That’s awesome!

Bubbly Horse visits Meydan Racecourse in Dubai
Meydan Racecourse is home to the Dubai World Cup

Each race carries a multi-million dollar prize.  The winner of this year’s Dubai Cup which was sponsored by Emirates Airline was Thunder Snow.  The horse, owned by Godolphin Racing, also won the race last year.  This year the winning purse was $12 million and the distance of the race is approximately 10 furlongs.  The race is run on a dirt track.

Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup
Thunder Snow wins the World Cup for the 2nd year in a row! Photo courtesy of

Thunder Snow beat several US contenders including Gronkowski (Gronk can’t win everything in 2019!), Gunnevera, and the 2018 Florida Derby winner, Audible.

Gronkowski was one of the US favorites in the race. Photo courtesy of

The Dubai Cup has many events that are held in conjunction with the event.  One of the events that I always like to see is the Dubai World Cup Style Stakes.  Dubai ladies love fashion. There is a reason why they have the largest and fanciest malls in the world!

Bubbly Horse visits the Dubai Mall Ice Rink
The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world

This year’s categories included Best Hat, Most Creative Hat, Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Lady Runner Up, Best Dressed Male, Best Dressed Male Runner Up, and Best Dressed Couple.  As you can see below contestants take this contest just as seriously as the jockeys take their races!

2019 Best Dressed Lady at the Dubai World Cup
Best Dressed Lady at the 2019 Dubai World Fashion Stakes. Photo courtesy of Clint Egbert of Gulf News
2019 World Cup Best Hat Winner
Best Hat at the 2019 World Cup Fashion Stakes. Photo courtesy of Clint Egbert of the Gulf News

There are some great prizes that are awarded for the day.   According to the Gulf News article about the event, prizes include gift certificates for around $1,500!  The contest is limited to 500 people and they have some very impressive judges.  Judges include author and stylist Kelly Lundberg, Esquire Middle East Fashion Designer Mark McMahon and several other big names in the Dubai fashion world.

2019 Best Dressed Couple at the Dubai World Cup
2019 World Cup Fashion Stakes Best Dressed Couple. Photo courtesy of Clint Egbert of the Gulf News.
2019 Most Creative Hat of the Dubai World Cup Fashion Stakes
2019 World Cup Most Creative Hat. This hat reminds me of High Tea that I had at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Photo courtesy of Clint Egbert of the Gulf News

The World Cup is a showcase for Dubai and Meydan.  Following a fantastic day of races, there’s a first-class fireworks display and a concert to cap off a day of fun.  This year’s concert featured Gwen Stefani.

Gwen Stefani in concert in Dubai
Gwen Stefani closed the Dubai World Cup festivities with a terrific concert. Photo courtesy of Clint Egbert of the Gulf News

The Dubai World Cup is certainly on my bucket list!  What about you?  Until next week xoxo.

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