Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup is known as the richest race in horse racing, as the purse totals $10 million. What does that mean? The purse is the total amount of money paid out to the owners of the horses that do well in the race. Typically, the winner gets 60 percent of the purse, with the remainder being split among the runners-up. So, for the Dubai World Cup, the owners of the winner horse get $6 million.
How does that compare to the Kentucky Derby? Well, as Americans, we are biased to think that the Kentucky Derby is the biggest and best horse race in the world. While it is an extraordinary event full of tradition and great sporting, the purse for the Kentucky Derby is $2 million – one-fifth of the purse for the Dubai World Cup. So, that should put into perspective the magnitude of the Dubai World Cup.
Not only is the race the largest monetarily, the events surrounding the race cannot be rivaled. As with everything in Dubai, the occasion is marked with over-the-top celebrations in which His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum himself actively participates, as he is a passionate proponent of horse racing.
A Long Weekend in Dubai
This trip was my second time to visit Dubai. My first visit was back in 2013, also to attend the Dubai World Cup. On that trip, we allocated a nice long chunk of time (almost two weeks, if I recall correctly) for our visit to the region. We started out with a jaunt to Oman and a stay at the beautiful Six Senses Zighy Bay beach resort. We then journeyed to the desert for a stay at Banyan Tree Al Wadi, a true oasis with its tented pool villas and amazing spa facilities. Finally, we made it to Dubai where we spent a week soaking in the city and the Dubai World festivities.
This trip to Dubai, though, was squeezed in between other travel plans. So, while we were traveling for a full week (left on a Tuesday, returned on a Monday), our time in Dubai was really limited to four days – arrived on Wednesday night and left early Monday morning. Once I realized that fact and thought of this trip as a “long weekend” in Dubai, it stripped the trip of unrealistic expectations. The focus turned from obligatory sightseeing (which I had already done) to simply enjoying a long weekend in the fabulous city of Dubai.
So how did we spend our weekend? In addition to the horse racing festivities, here are some highlights of the weekend:
- We stayed at Mina A’Salam and loved it! The beach provided an amazing view of its sister property the Burj Al Arab – known to be the most luxurious hotel in the world. The entire Jumeirah beach area is wonderful.
- We enjoyed a beach day.
- We visited Talise Spa several times. I received perhaps the best massage I’ve ever had in my life. Take me back!
- We danced the night away at Pacha, a fun rooftop nightclub with great music and even better views.
- We ate at Pierchic – a wonderful seafood restaurant set over the water, known at the most romantic restaurant in Dubai
- We went on a fabulous desert adventure with Arabian Adventures, who I highly recommend. We had done this last time, and it was so fun and so well done that we did it again. Two words: dune bashing Dubai!
As you can tell, the trip turned into a relaxing, stress-free weekend getaway, even amidst the busyness of the racing activities. This was a big lesson to me in letting go of expectations and preconceived notions of what all we should cram into a trip. It was really quite freeing.
Dubai truly is a city like no other. What the people have created from the nothingness of the desert is awe striking. I have really enjoyed my trips there and hope to go back soon.
Have you been to Dubai? Do you have any questions about traveling to the region? I’m happy to answer based on my experiences…
As usual, I’ll be attending the Kentucky Derby later this week. The greatest two minutes in sports carries with it a weekend jam-packed full of horse racing, fashion, and events. Be sure to follow along on my social media channels – especially Instagram (username: @carriec) and Snapchat (username: wearwherewell) for live coverage.
Fun fact: did you know that the Kentucky Derby weekend actually encompasses two days of racing? You know what that means: two days of outfits! Yes, indeed double the dresses and hats.
Wishing you a great day!