The Dubai World Cup is the world’s richest day in horseracing at US$30 million in purses. It was created through the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The event is not only a celebration of the UAE’s long history with the equine athlete, but also a spectacle of entertainment and sport in the Gulf’s most exciting city that has become revered globally.
Dubai World Cup day includes nine fixtures, topped by the namesake event, the $10 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline. All in all, it features five Group 1 events (the highest level of international racing), including a pair of $6 million races, the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World and the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.
The Dubai World Cup has occurred since 1996 and initially began at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, which was replaced by the state-of-the-art Meydan Racecourse for the 2010 running. Meydan boasts a grandstand that is 1.6km long and can accommodate over 60,000 spectators. Adjacent to the beautiful structure and close enough to feel the pounding hooves of the best equine athletes in the world is The Meydan Hotel, the world’s first five-star trackside hotel.
The Meydan Hotel and its sister property Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa beautifully complemented the Dubai World Cup this year with luxurious hospitality that was second-to-none, including seven dining venues and 78 hospitality suites. From exquisite afternoon teas to lavish dinner buffets, guests were treated to the highest level of contemporary hospitality with the assistance of more than 900 staff members, as well as a taskforce of 50 world-class F&B, culinary and housekeeping staff from 13 Corinthia properties, all of whom were flown to Dubai to ensure a transcendent guest experience.
“Meydan boasts a grandstand that is 1.6km long and can accommodate over 60,000 spectators. Adjacent to the beautiful structure and close enough to feel the pounding hooves of the best equine athletes in the world is The Meydan Hotel, the world’s first five-star trackside hotel.”
This was the second consecutive year such a team was assembled for the Dubai World Cup – an example of Corinthia’s ability to share its people and their skills, focus its assets optimally and create perpetually flawless standards of service.
“From exquisite afternoon teas to lavish dinner buffets, guests were treated to the highest level of contemporary hospitality with the assistance of more than 900 staff members, as well as a taskforce of 50 world-class F&B, culinary and housekeeping staff from 13 Corinthia properties…”
Speaking to Insider+, Reuben Mifsud, Cluster General Manager, Meydan Hotels & Hospitality, described the taskforce partnership as “a win-win for both parties.”
“On one hand, The Meydan Hotel was privileged to benefit from the experience of the taskforce team. On the other hand, taskforce members were offered an exclusive opportunity to be part of Dubai World Cup. Everyone benefited, not least the thousands of guests we were honoured to serve.”
Three months prior to Dubai World Cup 2018, a VIP visit was paid to Meydan to preview Corinthia Hotels’ newest and largest project in Dubai. This included a glimpse of the stunning interiors that await the future guests of Corinthia Hotel & Residences, Meydan Beach, which is currently under construction. Mock-ups of the hotel lobby, reception and guest rooms were constructed at the Meydan Grandstand. Such was the reaction to the designs that a hospitality suite for VIP guests at Dubai World Cup 2018 was modelled on the reception.
In the days leading up to race day, The Meydan Hotel provided the catering for the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Horseracing Excellence Awards, a Dubai World Cup event that was attended by VIPs, distinguished guests and award winners. These annual awards honour the best in the industry across six categories: Best Horse, Best Jockey, Best Trainer, Best Owner, People’s Choice Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.. The evening began with a reception at The Meydan Hotel, followed by the award ceremony at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, District One, catered by The Meydan Hotel and Corinthia Hotels’ teams.
UAE trainer Saeed bin Suroor won the 2018 Dubai World Cup for a record-extending eighth time with Thunder Snow, who was ridden by Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon. Thunder Snow’s win took his career tally to seven wins in 18 starts and followed his thrilling UAE Derby sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group victory on Dubai World Cup day in 2017. Suroor also won the Dubai Turf with Benbatl two races prior that evening.
Godolphin dominated the day with four victories, including wins by Charlie Appleby-trained Hawkbill in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and Jungle Cat in the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments. In the day’s other world-class races, America’s Mind Your Biscuits won the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News for the second consecutive year, Ireland’s Mendelssohn won the UAE Derby in magnificent style, France’s Vazirabad won the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup for a third consecutive time, UAE’s top miler Heavy Metal solidified that status in the $1 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One for owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad Al Maktoum and Saudi Arabia’s Tallaab Al Khalediah won the $1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala.