Cigar to African Story - Dubai World Cup Marks Two Decades of Memorable Moments

Some of the UAE`s Most Celebrated Brands Back World’s Richest Race

The history of the Dubai World Cup, from Cigar to African Story, Nad Al Sheba to Meydan, will reach a major chapter in its narrative this Saturday March 28, 2015 when the 20th renewal of the US$30m race day gets underway.

The most anticipated event on Dubai’s social and sporting calendar, the Dubai World Cup has attracted the partnerships of some of the UAE, and the world’s, most distinguished brands.

Meydan’s eight Pillar Partners are key to the event’s success, with some sponsors having been in association with the event since its inauguration in 1996.

Title sponsor Emirates is one of the raceday’s longest-serving partners and has maintained a relationship with the Group 1 $10m Dubai World Cup since the very beginning.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Centre said:
“Over the past 20 years, the Dubai World Cup has firmly established itself as one of the world’s top racing challenges and a favourite on Dubai’s social calendar.

“Emirates is proud to have supported this success since 1996, and hopes to continue to do so in years to come. Our affinity with horse racing is strong in the UAE through the Dubai World Cup and also our partnership with the Godolphin stables. The sport has always been part of the culture of the people of the United Arab Emirates and we enjoy supporting events which take place in our home base.

“This partnership is proof of our confidence in the continued international growth of Emirates, and in the growth of Dubai as a regional hub for business, tourism and sports.”

Official Timekeeper Longines is another brand that has enjoyed a long association with the race day. The global luxury watch company presents the Group 1 $6m Dubai Sheema Classic, one of the most pre-eminent turf races in the world.
Mr. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing said: “Longines is delighted to be the Official Timekeeper of all events organised by the Meydan Group and to present a highlight of the Dubai World Cup - the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines. This year is very special since this race is celebrating its 20th renewal. Indeed, these past two decades have seen the Dubai World Cup entering the realm of legend and becoming a much-awaited event for all top racing aficionados and elegant-events goers.”

DP World, a new Meydan Pillar Partner for 2015, sponsors the Group 1 $6m Dubai Turf and was also a fixture at the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, said: “Dubai has a world class reputation for the staging of world class sports and we have been actively involved in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Golf Championship over many years. The Dubai World Cup is one such stand out evening and attracts a star-studded cast of equine competitors.

“With such a global reputation we are honoured to be one of the Pillar Partners and to sponsor one of the major races on the night, the Group 1 Dubai Turf and over the next five years in the run up to Expo 2020. The occasion provides us with a tremendous opportunity to reach out to our international audiences as well as positioning Dubai as a hub for sport, tourism and trade.”

Leading UAE newspaper, Gulf News has been the sponsor of one of the two raceday sprints, the $2m Dubai Golden Shaheen since 1996.

“This year the Dubai World Cup is very special for us as we are celebrating not only its 20th running, but also the 20th running of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, the $2m Group 1, 1200m race sponsored by Gulf News since 1996”, said Duleep George, Executive Director – Strategy & Marketing, Al Nisr Group.

“Our association with this premier event is threefold; we are Race Sponsor, Official Newspaper and the Publisher of the Dubai World Cup Guide. It is a matter of great pride for us that apart from the Title Sponsor, only Gulf News has been a Race Sponsor since inception 20 years ago to date,” he further added.

When IPIC, already the sponsor of the $1m Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, added the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic to their portfolio at the start of the 2015 race season, the company became the first Pillar Partner to empower two races on Dubai World Cup day. Prize money for the Dubai Kahayla Classic was raised to $1m to mark the occasion.

“IPIC is proud to be the pillar partner for Meydan and we are pleased with all the positive results that have been achieved through this sponsorship. IPIC is also proud to empower the Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians and the Al Quoz Sprint with prize money of $1m each; to become the first company to sponsor two races on Dubai World Cup day,” said HE Khadem Al Qubaisi, Managing Director of IPIC.

The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group sponsors the Group 2 UAE Derby, an important race for Classic-aged colts and fillies.

“Dubai World Cup is always a magnificent event,” said Abdullah Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah, Chairman of Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Holding LLC. “This year will be no exception, and actually even more special as Meydan and the racing calendar mark the 20th renewal of Dubai World Cup.

The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group were involved from the very start, sponsoring a race 20 years ago. It is fantastic to still be so heavily involved. We recently signed another partnership contract, this time for 5 years. I think this shows our commitment to the racing fraternity and to Dubai too.

“I am very much looking forward to the big day.”

The Group 2 $1m Dubai Gold Cup is held on Meydan’s turf track and has been sponsored by Al Tayer Motors for four years.

One of the UAE’s premier automobile dealerships, Al Tayer Motors has been associated with equestrian sports for many years. It sponsors two race evenings every season, which are part of Racing at Meydan and Dubai World Cup Carnival, in addition to the Gamilati Endurance Cup for Mares.

The dealership is sponsoring the Dubai Gold Cup on the main race day for the fourth consecutive year.

Speaking about the sponsorship Chief Executive Officer, Ashok Khanna said: “The Dubai World Cup, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has firmly positioned itself as one of the best equestrian events attracting the finest international talents.

“It is one of the main highlights of this amazing city’s social and sporting calendar and provides us with an incomparable opportunity to position Al Tayer Motors among the best experiences that Dubai offers.”

Development company Meydan Soba sponsors the Godolphin Mile.

“We are truly honoured to be to be part of the world’s richest day in horse racing, the Dubai World Cup, as it marks its 20th season this year,” said Mr Mohammed Al Shehhi, Meydan group Board Member.

“As sponsor of the prestigious race for the second year running this is a fantastic platform for Meydan Sobha to update affluent individuals from around the world on Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One.

The sponsorship positions Meydan Sobha as a supporter of the rich UAE horsing racing heritage and we are delighted to join the already impressive list of Pillar Partners. We look forward to an exciting racing season on the track.”

Saeed Al Tayer, Meydan Group chairman said: “The involvement of so many distinguished brands in our showpiece race day is a testament to the support and passion that exists for horse racing in the UAE. The Dubai World Cup is one of the most important race meetings in the world and serves a dual purpose of marketing our wonderful city to visitors and the millions who watch this event on television as well as bringing together the world’s best racehorses in the spirit of competition.

“Dubai is renowned for its staging of world-class events and the Dubai World Cup, now in its landmark 20th renewal, serves as a highlight among them.”

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