United Arab Emirates


Horse racing has been organised on an official basis in the UAE since 1991, and there are four tracks which currently stage the sport.

The flagship track is Meydan (previously Nad Al Sheba), which stages floodlit racing on all weather and turf tracks. The majority of racing outside Meydan is held at Abu Dhabi – a floodlit turf track – and Jebel Ali, a dirt track which races in daytime. A handful of fixtures are held at Sharjah, a dirt track which also races in daylight.

Racing in the UAE made giant strides following the successful organisation of an international jockeys challenge in 1993, 1994 and 1995, which then led to the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race. It was first run at Nad Al Sheba in 1996, and won fittingly by one of the greatest horses of recent times, Cigar.

The Dubai World Cup card, which will be run on March 30, 2013, is worth US$27.25 million, making it the most valuable day’s racing on the planet.

The meeting is the climax of the Dubai World Cup Carnival (previously Dubai International Racing Carnival), which brings many of the leading horses, trainers, jockeys and horses from all over the globe to Meydan.

With 15 countries represented at the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival, the spotlight of the racing world from January through to the end of March is now firmly focused on the UAE.

In the past 10 years there has been a very significant promotion of racing with Purebred Arabian horses. The Maktoum Challenge races, the Arabian Triple Crown series, the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night and HH The President Of The UAE Cup, have acknowledged the importance of Purebred Arabian horses both in breeding and racing in the U.A.E.

Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) is the internationally recognised governing body for horse racing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It administers all aspects of the sport, including the implementation of the UAE Rules of Racing, the registration of horses for racing and the licensing of all trainers, jockeys, officials and stable personnel. It handles all entries and declarations for all race meetings in the UAE. The Authority also administers the internationally approved Emirates Thoroughbred Stud Book.

Besides being a proactive member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, the ERA is involved in other significant regulatory authorities and committees such as:

World Racehorse Rankings Committee (WRRC)
International Movement of Horses Committee (IMHC)
Asian Stud Book Conference
International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians (ICRAV)
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to the IFHA

Name of Racing Authority: Emirates Racing Authority

Postal Address: Meydan Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, P.O Box 9452, Dubai, UAE

Tel: (971) 4 327 0077 Fax: (971) 4 327 0010

E-mail: era@emiratesracing.com Web Site: www.emiratesracing.com

Chairman: His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Vice Chairman: Mr Saeed H. Al-Tayer

Board Members: Mr Ahmed Al Sheikh, Mr Malih Al Basti

ERA Steering Committee: Chairman - Mr Malih Al Basti, Members – Mr Frank G. Gabriel Jr. (CEO, Dubai Racing Club), Mr Gerard Bush

Chief Steward: Mr Gerard Bush

Senior Handicapper: Mr Melvin Day

Handicapper Arabians: Mr Neil Abrahams

Keeper of Stud Book: Mr Gerard Bush

Veterinary Officer: Dr David Sykes

ERA Registry Office Manager: Ms Hilary Youdale

Associated Race Clubs or Racecourses

Dubai Racing Club, Frank G. Gabriel Jr, CEO, Meydan Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, PO Box 9305, Dubai, UAE, Tel: (971) 4 327 0077, Fax: (971) 4 327 0053, E-mail: info@dubairacingclub.com

Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General, PO Box 590, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tel: (971) 2 455 5500, Fax: (971) 2 446 3048; E-mail: adrc@emirates.net.ae

Jebel Ali Racecourse, Shareef Al Halawani, P O Box 53135 Dubai, UAE, Tel: (971) 4 347 4914, Fax: (971) 4 347 2478, Email: jblalist@emirates.net.ae

Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club; Sultan Khalifa, General Manager, PO Box 1991, Sharjah, UAE, Tel: (971) 6 531 1155, Fax: (971) 6 531 1177, Email: info@serc.ae


Racing SeasonFrom early November To end of March (2011/12)
Number of Racecourses 4
Number of Fixtures 53
Number of Races 334
Number of Runners 4225
Number of Horses in Training 1000 +
Number of Trainers 100+
Number of Jockeys 100+
Number of Owners 360+

Principal Races

NameClassificationDatePrize Money(US$)Racecourse
1.Dubai World Cup GR I Mar 10,000,000 Meydan
2.Sheema Classic GR I Mar 5,000,000 Meydan
3.Dubai Duty Free GR I Mar 5,000,000 Meydan
4.Golden Shaheen GR I Mar 2,000,000 Meydan
5.UAE Derby GR II Mar 2,000,000 Meydan
6. Al Quoz GR I Mar 1,000,000 Meydan
7.Godolphin Mile GR II Mar 1,000,000 Meydan
8.Dubai Gold Cup GR III Mar 1,000,000 Meydan
9.Maktoum Challenge (Round 1)GR III Jan 200,000 Meydan
10.Maktoum Challenge (Round 2) GR II Feb 250,000 Meydan
11.Maktoum Challenge (Round 3) GR I Mar 400,000 Meydan
12.Al Fahidi Fort GR II Feb 250,000 Meydan
13.Jebel Hatta GR I Mar 300,000 Meydan
14.UAE 2000 Guineas GR III Feb 250,000 Meydan

Principal Festivals/Race Meetings

1.Dubai World Cup Mar 2013 Meydan
2.Dubai World Cup Carnival Jan - Mar 2013 Meydan

Total Prizemoney in Dirhams is AED 160,418,405 (2011/12)

Exchange Rate to US$: US$1 = 3.68DHS

Betting Totalizator No Off Course No
Bookmakers No Off Course No


Total number of stud farms 0
Total number of stallions 1
Total number of mares 1
Total number of thoroughbred births / year 1 / 2011

Report on Racing Activities

Horse racing commenced in 1983 at Sharjah and at Nad Al Sheba (1992), Abu Dhabi (1991), Jebel Ali (1993) and Meydan (2010).

Admission is free to all race courses and there is no betting allowed.

Sponsorship of races is common with races, along with interviews of racing personnel, shown by local and international transmission.