6 July 2023, Dubai, UAE ~ Horses from all over the world will be welcomed to Dubai for the entirety of the 2023-24 racing season.
Briefing global media and horse connections at a virtual press conference held earlier this week, Major General Dr Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, Executive Director of Dubai Racing Club, explained more about the new format for the forthcoming season.
“The DRC management and board have decided to reshape racing in Dubai, to improve sustainability in line with what is happening in the region,” he said. “Today, many countries are going along with Dubai and the UAE by using racing to showcase their development, a journey which Dubai started much earlier.
“The Dubai Racing Carnival has now become the whole season,” he added. “Horses can now come to Dubai from the start of the season until the Dubai World Cup.”
Al Adhab reiterated the minimum purse of AED165,000 for non-Stakes races, rising to more than AED1million for Group 1 races, while the Dubai World Cup meeting retains its overall purse of $30.5million. The new prize money levels represent a rise of 27 per cent on the 2022-23 season.
Stephanie Cooley, International Manager for DRC, explained more: “from an international perspective, we still have our quarantine facilities, plus trainers also have the option of shifting over to a local stable,” she said. “It’s a more condensed season but we have retained all of the feature races and aligned them more with some of the bigger races in the region.”
Responding to queries from the assembled media and trainers, Erwan Charpy, Advisor to Dubai Racing Club, outlined the quarantine restrictions for the season regarding horses travelling from Europe.
“Horses trained in the UK have the option of 90 days temporary import, with the option of going in and out. They can also come on a permanent import and go back with a 30-day quarantine or go back as temporary import. There are discussions to get England to line up with the regulations in the European Union, as since BREXIT there is almost no problem with horses going back to the EU without quarantine on a permanent import.
“The import certificate was previously just for the Dubai Racing Club, but now it is for the Middle East, which allows for more freedom of movement.”
The Executive Director was also keen to highlight the added entertainment element to the new-look season with two new feature race nights, Festive Friday, on December 22nd, and Fashion Friday, on January 26th, added to the programme. ‘Super Saturday’ retains its usual spot and will be held on March 2nd, 2024.
The 2023-24 racing season at Meydan Racecourse gets underway on Friday, 10 November.