Purses will rise 27% during the 2023-2024 Dubai racing season at Meydan Racecourse, the Dubai Racing Club (DRC) announced earlier this week.
The new minimum purse of AED165,000 will be for non-stakes races, while all Group 1 races will be increased to a purse of at least AED1 million. The prize-money of $30.5 million on Dubai World Cup night will remain unchanged. In addition, all Meydan cards will feature nine races except for the first two.
Other changes revealed by the DRC include two new feature race nights: Festive Friday on Dec. 22 and Fashion Friday on Jan. 26, while Super Saturday will be held on Mar. 2, and Dubai World Cup night is set for Mar. 30. Racing at Meydan begins on Friday, Nov. 10.
“The DRC management and board have decided to reshape racing in Dubai, to improve sustainability in line with what is happening in the region,” said Major General Dr. Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, Executive Director of Dubai Racing Club. “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. Horses can now come to Dubai from the start of the season until the Dubai World Cup.”
Stephanie Cooley, International Manager for DRC, added, “From an international perspective, we still have our quarantine facilities, plus trainers also have the option of shifting over to a local stable. 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.”
British horses will also now have more travel options when visiting the Middle East.
“Horses trained in the UK have the option of 90 days temporary import, with the option of going in and out,” said Erwan Charpy, Advisor to the DRC. “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.”