Dubai World Cup: The richest race day returns with $35 million prize purse

Jockey Christophe Soumillon rides Thunder Snow across the finish line to win the Dubai World Cup horse race at the Dubai World Cup in the Meydan Racecourse on March 31, 2018 in Dubai. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE        (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Dubai World Cup returns with record $35M purse
01:12 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Dubai World Cup is set for March 30

The meeting offers a $35 million purse

Pop star Gwen Stefani is due to perform

CNN  — 

Boasting the most expensive prize purse in horse racing, it’s no wonder the Dubai World Cup attracts the very best of the equine world.

Held at the Meydan Racecourse, the prestigious meeting marks the end of the UAE racing season, bringing together the world’s top jockeys, trainers and thoroughbreds.

On Saturday, a cool $35 million will be up for grabs across the six Group 1 and three Group 2 races, culminating in the showpiece Dubai World Cup – a suitable finale for such a glamorous setting.

READ: Dubai ruler wins Melbourne Cup after 30 years and millions of dollars

Gwen Stefani

Dubai has hosted the lucrative racing day every year since it was launched by ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 1996.

Initially held at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, the event moved to the magnificent Meydan Racecourse in 2010, allowing it to flourish into the huge social and sporting spectacle it is today.

Stretching for nearly a mile along the home straight, the impressive grandstand can hold 80,000 spectators and is a suitable venue for such a prestigious event – with ticket prices rising to more than $1,200.

The facility boasts a nine-hole golf course as well as luxury five-star hotel, including roof top swimming pool, which positions residents at the heart of the action.

“This is a once-seen-never-forgotten behemoth, shown to best effect after dark, when the distinctive crescent-shaped roof that rests atop this iconic building stands illuminated beneath the desert night sky,” wrote Nicholas Godfrey on

“It would be hard to envisage a more atmospheric venue.”

However, it’s not just world-class racing on offer during the spectacle. In recent years, some of the world’s biggest pop stars have headlined a concert that starts after the final race.

This year about 60,000 racegoers will see Gwen Stefani join an illustrious alumni which includes Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson.

“Meydan,” after all, is Arabic for “A place where people congregate.”

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