Fans set to descend on Meydan


    By M. Satya Narayan

    Record crowds are expected as the anticipation builds towards the Dubai World Cup, just five days away.

    Dubai Racing clubFrank Gabriel Jr, CEO of the Dubai Racing Club, has his fingers crossed the punters will flock to the Meydan Racecourse and has also promised better transport after the meeting.

    Gabriel Jr, who has more than three decades of experience in racing, told Gulf News the organisers were working closely with the Roads and Transport Authority to make it easier to get to the races and ensure ample taxis are available at the end the day.

    “Meydan security has worked closely with the RTA in the traffic plan and signage to get everyone in and out and find their direction,” Gabriel Jr said.

    “They have also worked closely with the RTA with their taxi services to make sure we have ample taxis for the return home.”

    Commenting on the general preparations for one of the biggest race meetings on the flat calendar with a whopping $26 million (Dh95.48 million) in prizes for the eight races slated for the night, Gabriel Jr said everything was moving smoothly.

    “Things are going good. Sales are moving along well. A lot of the areas are filling up and we just hope fans purchase their tickets in advance for a Saturday night of world class racing,” he said.

    “Public areas will open at noon and hospitality areas will open at 2pm. First race starts at 4.35pm, which is the Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians. Our last race, the Dubai World Cup, will run at 9.35pm.”


    After some of the world’s top equine stars have battled it out on the Tapeta course and grass turf at Meydan, the organisers have planned a host of entertainment to keep race-goers happy.

    “We have entertainment all through the night. There are also a lot of fun things at the Apron Views. We have two performers on the stage after the races at the Apron Views,” Gabriel Jr said.

    “Public car parks will be in the remote areas and we will shuttle everyone from there. For all the hospitality areas there will be secured parking and there will be ample parking for the rest.

    “Last year being the first year we did find out some little dos and don’ts. We will be taking care of them. We are going to have extra areas from the concourse to the gates to help people get into the lines and get in as quickly as possible.”

    On a lighter note, Gabriel Jr said: “If one is planning to entertain himself or herself on the night with beverages, it is definitely best to take the public transport for the safety of everyone else and themselves!

    “We are expecting to see the same capacity crowd as last year. Maybe 50,000 plus, 60,000 hopefully.

    “And hopefully the weather will be good to us. For sure the atmosphere will be tremendous.”