On 30th of March, Dubai World Cup, one of the biggest horse race event across the globe in terms of the prize money of over AED 99 million (USD 27 million), concluded. Quite interestingly, “African Story”, won the race which was the horse of HH Sheikh Mohammad, the Ruler of Dubai. HH Sheikh Mohammad himself is a great lover of horses and is believed to be  one of the key person behind nurturing the Dubai World Cup.

It can be said that the event was very popular amongst the horse enthusiasts and success of such event can be traced back to historical times, when horses were integral part of the Arab/UAE culture, along with other creatures such as falcons and camels. Hence, the interest of the past has cascaded in the present time as rich Emiratis, Arabs and other Expats demonstrated their interest in purebred Arab as well as international horses. According to our sources, some individuals even paid as much as AED 3 million (USD 820,000) to buy top quality horses.

For the Dubai’s horse racing sector, these are positive signs as horse trading and associated events receives even further boost with number of race courses, polo clubs and stud farms coming into picture in UAE in the recent time. Presently, the total annual forage import of UAE is estimated at over one million tons and is expected to increase three fold in another 15 years. In addition, UAE is also a fertile market for imports of horse food supplements and equestrian accessories and equipment.

The sheer glamour quotient associated with events like the Dubai Horse World Cup makes it a very popular social event as well. Many visitors do not know much about horses but look forward to the event to get a look at the latest fashion and style. Gentlemen in their resplendent suits and ladies in their beautiful hats hanging out in the beautiful ambience is a common sight in Dubai World Cup. The social status and glamour associated with the event, makes it an ideal platform for business networking, used effectively used by High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) for evaluating business opportunities and opening new doors.

Nevertheless, there is more to Dubai World Cup than horse racing, trading and business networking. Like the luxury yacht sector in Dubai, which the Research Konnection Team researched on last month, the Dubai World Cup and the flamboyant horse racing sector needs to be seen in tandem with other sectors such as retail, tourism, HNWI networking and real estate etc.

If analyzed closely, one can find significant link between the retail and tourism sector with the Dubai World Cup. The event is not only visited by over 80,000 audiences, but is also an instrumental component in shaping up the overall tourism and retail momentum in Dubai. Since the first quarter of the year is one of the very busy period in Dubai’s tourism calendar, it attracts around 3 million visitors from across the globe offering them range of events such as Duty free ATP Tennis Championship, Dubai World Cup and above all the Dubai Duty Free shopping event, which is known offering remarkable discount rates.

In addition, the DWTC also rolls out some exciting business exhibitions and events in the time period such as Gulf Food and GITEX Shoppers Spring. Not to mention the Dubai International Horse Fair, which in its 10th edition was conducted from 20th-22th March, 2014. Thus, our research findings suggest that the Dubai World Cup along with the other events mentioned above keeps the momentum on for the retail and tourism sector of Dubai.

The horse racing in Dubai is also part of the spectacular real estate landscape of Dubai. This has been reflected in form of ambitious projects such as Meydan city and Arabian Ranches. The Meydan City, which is believed to be the brain child of HH Sheikh Mohammad, is not only home to Dubai World Cup and horse racing activities but also consists of residential villas, hotels and resorts and others sports centers.

One of the key objectives of such projects as well the Dubai World Cup is to promote and reflect the magnificence of Dubai across the globe. There is always a great sense of luxury associated with horse racing (and so with Dubai) and hence brewing up its fascination with horses from the past and present day projects and initiatives, Dubai intends to project itself as an ideal destination, blending fun, luxury and style and of course business, all together in one perfect mocktail.

This research report is compiled by Research Konnection Team; a Dubai based market research and business consulting firm that is focused on capturing latest insights and happenings of major events across various sectors and industries in UAE. If you are looking for more research (qualitative & quantitative data) or preparation of feasibility study and business plan, then feel free to contact us on

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
How can we help you?

Contact us for market research services or submit a business enquiry online.

Contact Us