Our trip to the Dubai World Cup!
Fresh off the plane after a fantastic and busy week in Dubai, we all had a fantastic time and it was great meeting so many of you and hearing what a great time you were having. So if you didn’t get to go this year here’s what you missed out on.
I, like most people, flew out overnight on Tuesday 26th March. I was lucky to be able to fly from Stansted airport direct to Dubai as I was coming from Newmarket. Emirates airline added Stansted to their flight plan this year, which made my journey much easier. As this was an overnight flight, I had the chance to get some sleep during the 6h30m flight. This meant that I landed early on Wednesday morning into Dubai International Airport and had the whole day to enjoy. Unfortunately, it seemed that I had brought the bad weather with me from home as Dubai was overcast and drizzling rain. Feeling a bit jaded from the flight, I headed to the hotel and then for breakfast at the Dubai Mall in Downtown Dubai. After a very relaxed day wandering around Downtown Dubai, it was time for an early dinner and bedtime as my alarm was set at 5am for the following morning for Breakfast with the Stars.
An early start for Breakfast with the Stars; 5am to be exact, ready to set off to each of the Racing Breaks hotels. Racing Breaks offer a number of hotels in Dubai and therefore a Racing Breaks member will be present at each hotel to meet guests and help direct guests onto buses, ready to be transferred to Meydan racecourse.
Once we arrived at Meydan, it was clear that we would be based inside for the morning with the rain. Meydan did a great job moving everything inside and continuing with a great show with such short notice. We watched all of the horses work including some of the big American stars, indulged in a world class spread of breakfast, then heard from Rishi Persad who interviewed various racing connections and stars. As well as the interviews, Meydan held a raffle with some amazing prizes including an Emirates Airline giveaway of 250,000 air-miles to one lucky winner!
The whole morning is action packed with Jugglers, Magicians, and a band playing plus all the horses working and opportunities to get a picture with your favourite racing stars!
Friday was another early start as it was the Racing Breaks Golf Day at the Els Club. Rishi Persad, Tom Stanley, Scott Hazleton and Jim Crowley joined us for the day which was a great laugh. The round of Golf was then followed by a BBQ at the Club House which was the perfect way to unwind and relax after a sporting day on course. Everyone said what an amazing course it was and how much fun they had! While they enjoyed their afternoon at the Golf Club, the Racing Breaks team headed to Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Hotel to set up for the Frankie Dettori Drinks Evening!
This year was the first time we held the evening at the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and it was the perfect choice for our evening with a beautiful, Arabian style ballroom, located on the waterfront of the hotel’s canal system. The hotel is built in an old Arabian style with wind towers and incredible persian rugs hanging from the walls.
The drinks evening starts at 6:00 pm with our celebrity panel arriving to mingle with the guests, take photos and sign their autograph.
This year we had Rishi Persad hosting our panel of racing experts which included Jim Crowley, Frankie Dettori, and Pat Cosgrave. The panel began by talking about their upcoming rides and thoughts on the big night. There were some interesting discussions about the variety of runners from all over the globe. Once the panel had analysed each of the 9 races on Dubai World Cup night, Rishi opened to the floor for questions. It was great to hear everyone's questions and interest in what the jockey panelists had to say.
The aim is to start the evening early so that guests can make plans for dinner afterwards. The Jumeirah Mina A’Salam has lots of lovely restaurants which offer all sorts of cuisines. The hotel is set amongst other Jumeirah hotels which are all interconnected by salt water canals and small traditional boat Abras (boat taxi) can take you from one place to another via the water ways. Next door to the Mina A’Salam is the Madinat Souk which is made up of alley-ways with traditional shops and a number of bars and restaurants.
It’s the big day! The gates open at 12pm with the first race kicking off at 3:45pm. Once again, a member of the Racing Breaks team will be present at each of the hotels, ready to assist guests on to the coach transfers. Buses will aim to leave hotels at 12:30pm to get to the racecourse for approximately 1pm. We like to arrive early to avoid the queues and any other disruptions with traffic etc. If you would prefer, you can easily get a private transfer or taxi to leave when you choose and drop you off a little closer to the main entrance upon arrival.
When pulling into Meydan racecourse, we are dropped off in the coach park to the West of the Grandstand, and this is exactly where the bus departs from at the end of the day. As the Grandstand is so big, the different ticket types have entrances and some may be a bit more of a walk than others. The Racing Breaks team were based in the Apron Views and Gallery throughout the day so that we could be of assistance to any customers.The Gallery is one step up from the Apron Views which is the general admission area and offers a delicious buffet spread which runs all day and into the evening. There are ample bars located throughout Gallery where all of your drink is included (some specific drinks like Champagne are not included but can be purchased). The upstairs area of the Gallery is on the same level as you head outside to the Grandstand seating and offers a cocktail bar set up with downstairs set up with large round tables for you to base yourselves whilst making a few trips to the buffet. There is access to the Grandstand which has ample seating although not reserved or assigned.
After a fantastic day of racing we enjoyed the incredible fireworks display and music performance from Gwen Stefani. After the concert, we met everyone at the coach park to head back to the hotels. We do advise that if the day is too long for some that they may wish to make their way back early and in this case it is very easy to make your way to the taxi rank at the front entrance of the course and make your own way back.
A fantastic day in all and one that many people will find hard to top..
I headed home like the majority of guests who travelled with us to Dubai. I got the 9.30am back to Stansted and there are numerous flights with various airlines that travel at a number of times throughout the day so there are lots of options to choose from.
Alternatively, it is very easy to extend your stay if you wish to enjoy yourselves and make the most of your time in Dubai.
All in all, a fantastic trip which we hope everyone enjoyed. It was great meeting so many of our Racing Breaks Customers and we hope to see you all again on one of our future Racing Breaks.