Posted by: englishdubai | March 31, 2008

Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses


There had been a great deal of build up in my social circle of friends as well as in the press this year over the Dubai World Cup. Last year I was all rather nonchalant about the whole thing, this year in the excitement I had a suit made for the occasion and invited an old school friend over from the UK to share in what I hoped with a brilliant fun filled day. True to form the weather did not disappoint and we got dressed up and got ready to go.

It was tough work to get a cab and we ended up getting one a little earlier than we thought. This year the bars were not opening till 4pm for alcohol which I thought was not a bad idea considering the state of some people I saw last year. So when we arrived through about a 30 minute queue of traffic, took the shuttle bus to the gate and queued for five minutes to get in. It was only 2.30pm. What were three lads to do with 90 minutes to wait for a beer? Well we spent the next hour and half by indulging in some world class “mincing” around the International Village drinking ice cold water.

Here is Tim (aka Detective Vic Mackie from the Shield) and myself at the start of our mince around International Village:

Eventually 4pm rolled around and we go could get stuck into a few cold beverages and we were easily entertained by people watching. Sure the Dubai World Cup is the richest horse race in the world but there is huge value to be had by looking at the vast array of fashion on display. It seemed that the ladies hats and dresses were even more elaborate than last year. As for the gents there was a leaning for some of them to do their best to look like Kayne West with the crazy white rimmed aviators or others in Justin Timberlake style Fedora’s. Both of these looked faintly ridiculous – after all this was the pinnacle of horse racing not an R&B concert.

Still I was concerned that by 6pm a number of my friends had still not arrived despite only setting an hour after we left. After some frantic calls and text messages it seemed that the traffic queue was horrendous, followed by another queue to get the shuttle bus to the gate and the queue itself to get in. Duncan described the queue as “two kilometres long with it all kicking off at the gate” – seems that wearing posh outfits in 35c weather and queuing for a couple of hours is enough to break the resolve of the stiffest upper lip. Never fear, Catherine put her press pass to good use and did the best bit of “blagging” to get them in ahead of the queue.

Moral of this story ? Either get their early and enjoy a good mince or employ world class blagging at the gate. Here they are enjoying a well deserved beverage

Last year the only horse racing I saw was on a big screen – this year we actually got up to the rail and for three glorious seconds we saw the horses pass:

Other than that it was as good as last year in terms of atmosphere and fun within the International Village. However getting home resulted in more queueing for either a taxi or the shuttle bus – and yet again some people were getting wild about the wait. Shame really as with thousands of people all leaving at the same time queues and delays are bound to happen.

For me this one of the two “must do” events in the Dubai social calendar along with the rugby sevens. The promise of the new track “Meyden” in 2010 will surely propel this event to a whole new stratosphere and I intend to be there to experience it.


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