where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2009-06-11 18:45:53  

 Meydan has finally announced the date of its first meeting after months of speculation surround the track and its facilities. The course that was set to take over the reins from the world famous Nad Al Sheba will host the 2010 World Cup with increased prize money and the 3 month long Dubai Racing Carnival.

Meydan has announced January 28, 2010 as the date that global racing enters an exciting new era with the first meeting to be staged at Meydan. The first meeting will coincide with the start of the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival and feature the opening round of the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge for thoroughbreds and Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge for Purebred Arabians.

Commenting on the announcement, the Chairman of Meydan, Mr. Saeed Humaid Al Tayer said, “It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the first meeting to be held at Meydan will be on January 28, 2010.”

“The racing facilities will be ready by October 31st this year,” Mr. Al Tayer added. “By having it ready on October 31st, all horsemen, whether they are Dubai-based or visitors from abroad will have time to familiarize themselves with the facility to ensure they are prepared to compete to the highest standard when racing begins in January.”

“Meydan was introduced to the world on the eve of the Dubai World Cup in 2007 and to have it ready for racing in January 2010 is a remarkable achievement.”

“Horse racing around the world is showcased at great racecourses with wonderful histories and traditions, but with Meydan we believe we are taking the sport to a new level and into a new era.” Meydan will encompass two tracks, a 1,750m all-weather surface inside a 2,400m turf course, while its Grandstand is unprecedented in the world of horse racing; accommodating 60,000 people and including a five-star hotel, marina, IMAX cinema, six haute cuisine restaurants and a museum.

“The opening of Meydan will be a defining moment in the sport's global history. Unparalleled levels of luxury, customer comfort and racing technology will be combined to create the ultimate horseracing experience,” Mr. Al Tayer said.

"We wanted to develop a world-class facility and I cannot think of any other racecourse in the world that will rival it.” "As we are setting the benchmark in terms of world-class facilities, we want to complement that with increased prize-money of US$10 million, to continue to entice the best horses in the world for the 2010 Dubai World Cup.”

Derived from an Arabic word meaning „where people congregate and race., Meydan takes over from Nad Al Sheba which was Dubai.s centre of racing from November 13, 1992 until the 2009 Dubai World Cup held earlier this year. 

“Nad Al Sheba has had a proud history of racing in Dubai and that will continue with Meydan,” Mr. Al Tayer said, "But Meydan is not just for UAE, it's for the whole world."

The opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge has been the traditional starting point for the Dubai International Racing Carnival and the first Carnival to be held at Meydan will again close with the Super Thursday meeting on March 4, 2010.

The first staging of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan will be on Saturday, March 27, 2010. “To build such a facility and have minimal interruption to our racing has been phenomenal,” said Mr. Frank Gabriel Jr., CEO of the Dubai Racing Club. “The Dubai International Racing Carnival will be held as usual in 2010 and while its growth has been evident throughout its six year existence, we are expecting unprecedented numbers next year.”

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