Why Do Horse Races Play an Important Role in the UAE?

Why Do Horse Races Play an Important Role in the UAE?
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

When thinking of the United Arab Emirates, sandy deserts, camels, and horses are the first things that come to mind. People from many countries of the world visit the UAE to watch various traditional sports competitions and races. Equestrianism and its multiple forms are exceptionally popular in the UAE, despite the arrival of other modern sports activities like Formula 1 Racing or golf. However, those sports mainly cater to tourists and wealthy people. Horse racing remains one of the most favorite things to participate in and watch for the ordinary Arab. 

The UAE government invests a lot in top-quality horse clubs so that its residents can enjoy watching superior horses race and compete in various tournaments. Horse racing is also regularly promoted to keep the Arabic heritage alive and pass it on to future generations. Annual horse racing events and championships are sold out in advance, and the involvement of internationals also gives the UAE a global viewership. All of this contributes towards tourism promotion of the country and increased revenue. 


What Are The Traditional Sports in the UAE? 


Top Traditional Sports in the United Arab Emirates
Horse racing
Camel racing
Dhow sailing
Boat racing


Of all traditional sports in the UAE, horse racing takes the top spot. We can easily see why that is. The Arabian horse is globally recognized for its superior bloodline and being one of the oldest breeds in the world. Their horses are also very durable and can sustain even the roughest terrains in the Gulf region. So horse racing plays a vital role in Arabian life. Residents are not allowed to play casino games, but they have easy access to horse racing clubs, and anyone can participate in this form of recreation. 

Horse Racing Events in the UAE 

Dubai is the home to the wealthiest global horse racing event – the famous Dubai World Cup. The humble beginnings of this tournament date back to the 1960s, and now this event attracts International viewership, renowned sponsors, many great horses, and lots of money. Watching this event is as thrilling and exciting as playing casino games for real money. Professional horse racing in the UAE started back in 1992 with the formation of the Emirates Racing Authority, and it significantly improved over the years. 

Today, the horse racing season in the UAE lasts five months, with over fifty annual horse racing meetings at several tracks within the UAE. The center of horse racing is the mega-popular racetrack Meydan, which became an international hotspot for the horse racing industry. 

People living in the other parts of the world, who cannot come and see horses racing, can have their thrill by placing bets on the horse races. 

We recommend placing bets in a reliable online casino, where you can place bets on various competitions. 

What Is the Dubai World Cup? 

The Dubai World Cup is the biggest horse racing event in the Gulf region. It attracts the best horses in the world and the top racers and trainers. There are a total of 10 race meetings within the cup, and the prize pool is massive. The main event happens on the last Saturday of each March, labeled as the wealthiest race globally, with a stunning prize pool of a few tens of millions of dollars. 

The Dubai World Cup also has numerous famous sponsors who contribute towards its popularity. Some of them include:

  • Emirates Airline – the most prominent international airline company
  • Gulf News – a large multimedia organization in the region
  • Emirates NBD – one of the largest banks
  • CNN International – big worldwide broadcasting platform
  • Longines – one of the oldest watch manufacturers

Of course, there are many more others, and the number of sponsors continuously grows year after year. 

Horse Racing as a Part of the UAE Tradition

The UAE is a good place for racehorse competitions. There are many quality horses in the region, coming with quality trainers and other supporting staff. Nowadays, even the modest horse races in the UAE have prize pools of tens of thousands of dollars, helping horse owners to invest further in their horses. 

Horse racing is deeply rooted in the UAE traditions and will likely continue to grow. Today, horse racing is a part of the tourism strategy of the Emirates, and the economic value it has is enormous. For example, the Dubai World Cup and other racing events bring over half a billion US dollars per year. That is of immense importance for the UAE economy and is one of the critical streams of revenue.

So, we can conclude that horse races plan an essential role in the UAE because they are part of the local tradition. So, if you visit UAE, make sure you see the Dubai World Cup spectacle and see why horse races are so exciting in this part of the world. \