23 March 2016

The Dubai World Cup Story Gains a New Chapter March 26

Celebrated Brands Back to Support World’s Richest Raceday

A new chapter in the narrative of the Dubai World Cup will enter the history books on Saturday March 26, 2016 when some of the world’s highest-rated horses vie for a share of the US$30m purse.

The most anticipated event on Dubai’s social and sporting calendar, the Dubai World Cup has attracted the partnerships of some of the UAE, and the world’s, most distinguished brands.

Meydan’s seven Pillar Partners, Emirates, Longines, DP World, Gulf News, the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, Al Tayer Motors and Meydan Sobha, race sponsors, IPIC and Meydan Hotels and Hospitality as well as international media partner, CNN are key to the event’s success.

Title sponsor, Emirates is one of the raceday’s longest-serving partners, having maintained a relationship with the $10m Group 1 Dubai World Cup since its very beginnings in 1996. Last year Prince Bishop claimed the race for the home team of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. This year the pre-race build-up has centered around two USA stars, Godolphin’s Frosted and California Chrome.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Centre said: “Just like Emirates, the Dubai World Cup continues to grow each year. We both are truly international--be it in terms of destinations we fly to or countries that will have horses competing next Saturday. We look forward to next Saturday to celebrate another historic Dubai World Cup.”

Official Timekeeper Longines is another brand that has enjoyed a long association with the Dubai World Cup. The global luxury watch brand presents the Group 1 $6m Dubai Sheema Classic, one of the world’s most prestigious turf races, won in 2015 by Dolniya.

Mr. Walter Von Känel, President of Longines: “We are proud to be the Official Timekeeper of all events organised by the Meydan Group and to share with them our passion for equestrian sports as well as our core values: Elegance, Performance and Tradition. Longines is looking forward to timing the impressive performances of the world’s best horses during the Dubai World Cup and to be the partner of a highlight of the day, the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines.”

DP World, is celebrating its second Dubai World Cup day as a Meydan Pillar Partner, having come on board for the Group 1 $6m Dubai Turf in 2015.

HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “The patronage and personal engagement in the sport by our royalty, led by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has firmly placed the Dubai World Cup at the top of the international horse racing calendar. As the richest racing event, the Dubai World Cup attracts the greatest international horses, the best horsemen and elite horse owners from around the globe. This top-level international interest and participation provides our customers an opportunity to meet with dignitaries and business leaders who make a difference. It’s an occasion for DP World, as sponsors of the US$6m Group I Dubai Turf race, to showcase its exceptional rise as an enabler of global trade during this celebration of excellence.”

Leading UAE newspaper, Gulf News has been the sponsor of the $2m dirt sprint, the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen since 1996. Local hero, Reynaldothewizard, trained by Satish Seemar bids to capture a second successive victory in the race.

“This year we celebrate not only the 21st running of the Dubai World Cup but also the 21st running of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, the US$2m, Group 1 1200m race sponsored by Gulf News since 1996,” said Rajeev Khanna, Commercial Director, Al Nisr Group. “The Dubai World Cup is one of the highlights of the city’s sporting and social calendar and we are very proud to have been associated with it since its inception, both as Race Sponsor and Official Newspaper.”

The second sprint on Dubai World Cup day is the $1m Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by meydan Hotels and Hospitality and 2015 winner, Sole Power will attempt to defend his crown on Saturday.

Mohamed Aghoury – Cluster General Manager, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa and The Meydan Hotel said: “Meydan Hotels and Hospitality is pleased to sponsor the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at the 2016 Dubai World Cup. With prize money of $1 million this 1000m turf dash is one of the world’s premier sprint contests and we look forward to seeing whether Sole Power can defend his title on Saturday. The Meydan Hotel and Meydan Racecourse enjoy a symbiotic relationship where both entities serve to provide luxury, entertainment and memories that will last a lifetime. As a five star racecourse venue, The Meydan Hotel offers the ultimate experience for racegoers and horse connections during the season, but also provides luxurious accommodation for the events and corporate conferences that are hosted in the hotel and the grandstand throughout 365 days a year.”

The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group sponsors the $2m Group 2 UAE Derby, an important race for Classic-aged colts and fillies and won in 2015 by Mubtaahij who went on to contest the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in the USA. This year the unbeaten filly, Polar River will take her chance against the colts for trainer, Doug Watson.

Abdullah Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah, Chairman of the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group said: “The Dubai World Cup 2016 is nearly here. It doesn’t seem long ago since the raceday in 2015, and we are again very much looking forward to probably the most prestigious day in the Dubai calendar.

“Dubai World Cup always gives us the chance to profile our brand and to entertain some top clients. It also gives us the opportunity to enjoy some great racing. As ever, The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group are proud to be partnering Meydan and sponsoring the UAE Derby.”

The Group 2 $1m Dubai Gold Cup is held on Meydan’s turf track and is now in its fifth year of sponsorship by Al Tayer Motors. Brown Panther, who was owned by former England footballer, Michael Owen claimed the race in 2015. This year the stayers’ contest boasts an open field and includes the Alain De Royer Dupre-trained Vazirabad, Andre Fabre’s Manatee and Japanese contender, Neo Black Dia.

Al Tayer Motors, one of the UAE’s premier automobile dealerships, has been associated with equestrian sports for many years. It sponsors two race evenings every season, which are part of Racing at Meydan and Dubai World Cup Carnival, in addition to the Gamilati Endurance Cup for Mares.

The dealership is sponsoring the Dubai Gold Cup on the main race day for the fifth consecutive year.

Speaking about the sponsorship Chief Executive Officer, Ashok Khanna said: “Every year the Dubai World Cup lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s best equestrian events combining some serious action on the track as well as exciting entertainment, making it one of the most glamorous evenings on Dubai’s sporting and social calendar. We are very pleased to be associated with the event and look forward to a fabulous day ahead.”

Development company Meydan Soba sponsors the $1m Godolphin Mile. An equally-split joint venture, Meydan Sobha is responsible for developing more than 47 million square feet of prime freehold land in the heart of Dubai, a stone’s throw from Meydan Racecourse. The first landmark project within Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City is District One.

Mr. Ajay Rajendran, Vice Chairman at Sobha Group said: “We are truly honored to be a part of a globally recognised and momentous day in the sport of horse racing, the Dubai World Cup, as it marks its 21st renewal this year. As a title sponsor of the prestigious race for the third year running this is a fantastic platform for Meydan Sobha to showcase to the world our luxurious residential community, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One. The sponsorship positions Meydan Sobha as a supporter of the rich UAE horsing racing heritage and we are delighted to join the impressive list of Pillar Partners. We look forward to an exciting day of racing.”

The Group 1 $1m Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians carries a prize purse of $1m and is powered by IPIC. The race was claimed in 2015 by the Erwan Charpy-trained and HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum-owned Manark. Sheikh Hamdan holds a strong hand in the 2016 renewal after the runaway victory of Handassa, trained by Frenchman, Francois Rohaut in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 on Super Saturday.

His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), said: “We are proud to sponsor the Dubai Kahayla Classic race for another year. The Dubai World Cup confirms our support at IPIC as a partner to Meydan and it enhances our position as an international business leader that is also linked to the UAE’s heritage and history.”

His Excellency added: “The UAE’s noteworthy achievements in the horse racing field is a result of the strong support, immense care and wise planning of the nation’s leadership, who have provided endless possibilities allowing the country to reach new heights and be a global leader for horse racing.”

For the second year in a row the Dubai World Cup has teamed up with International Media Partner, CNN.

Rani R. Raad, President, CNN International, said: “We have a long-standing commitment to Dubai, and indeed the region as a whole – most recently through the launch of new studios in Dubai Media City. As the number one international news channel in the Middle East and beyond, this is an ideal partnership to showcase the Dubai World Cup to a worldwide audience.”

Saeed H Al Tayer, Meydan Group chairman said: “The involvement of so many distinguished brands in our showpiece race day is a testament to the support and passion that exists for horse racing in the UAE. The Dubai World Cup is one of the most important race meetings in the world and serves a dual purpose of marketing our wonderful and innovative city to both visitors and to the millions who watch this event on television as well as bringing together the world’s best racehorses in the spirit of competition.