DUBAI // Some 60,000 people, most dressed in their finest hats, frocks and suits, will descend on Meydan Racecourse, the new home of horse racing in Dubai, on Saturday for the 2010 Dubai World Cup. Three years in the making, the vast falcon-shaped complex is home to the world's largest racecourse. It will be inaugurated in style on Saturday afternoon with a US$10 million (Dh36.7m) prize for the showpiece race, the Dubai World Cup (DWC). The development spans 76 million square feet, numerous entertainment events, and myriad food and beverage outlets, so we've compiled a mini-guide to finding your way around.
If you have not already booked your ticket for race day, you need to hurry. The ticket office on the mezzanine floor of the Meydan Hotel closes at 8pm today and won't be open again for sales or collection.
Tickets start at Dh350 for apron views, situated between the track and the Meydan Grandstand, which will give you access to the public enclosure. If you would like to get closer to Elton John and Carlos Santana when they take to the stage after the DWC prize presentation, Golden Circle Premium tickets are available at Dh650. For those who have purchased tickets but not yet collected their entry badges, they must do so before the ticket office closes tonight. For inquiries call the ticket office on 04-327-2110.
The DWC will be held at the Meydan Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba. All routes will be signposted from Sheikh Zayed Road and from the Al Ain-Hatta intersection. A car park pass is included in the badge pack for hospitality patrons. Display it and follow the signs to your allocated car park area. There will be guides to help you find a spot. A taxi drop-off and pick-up point is located outside the Meydan Grandstand at gate B. Gates open at 2pm and all outlets close at 12.30am.
You will be issued a badge when you collect your ticket. You must wear it at all times for access to your hospitality area. All food and beverage sales will be on a cash-only, so don't forget your ATM card. At the apron views, there is food court that has outlets of the Wagamama and Mazaj restaurants, among others. Alcohol is available at various outlets including the Irish Village and Zinc.
There is one and it should be followed or you may find yourself missing out on the action. For men, lounge suits or national dress is required. Modest dress is recommended for women, who are also encouraged to wear hats. Denim, T-shirts, trainers and shorts are prohibited in the Meydan Grandstand and Parade Ring.
Access to the hotel will be limited to those with reservations, though the grandstand is open to ticket holders.
Male and female prayer rooms will be located around the venue and are signposted.
Competition looks set to be fierce at this year's Dubai World Cup 2010 Style Stakes for the titles of Best Dressed Couple, Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat. For those who fancy their chances, registration forms will be available from information booths throughout the Meydan Grandstand and at the main concourse, near gate A. They should be filled and handed in by 4.45pm. Judging begins for the first category at 5.05pm. Judges will be looking for "style, originality and attention to detail, as well as appropriateness of outfit for race day". Hats are essential for ladies in the competition and all entrants must be at least 21 years old. For more information log on to www.dubaiworldcup.com.
Organisers have asked that all visitors keep their badge clearly displayed at all times. Those without correct identification may be escorted out of any area. Bags and luggage must not be left unattended and any suspicious packages will be removed.
Pushchairs and strollers will not be allowed into the Meydan Grandstand, hospitality areas of the racecourse or apron views, excluding The Meydan Hotel. Children will need a badge to access the hospitality area but there are no special prices for children. First-aid stations are located at the concourse near gates A and D, in the food court on the mezzanine level. Paramedics will be roaming around the facility. Call on any Meydan guest services staff member in an emergency. For lost and found inquiries, head to an information booth on the day, or call the Dubai Racing Club on 04-327-0077 after race day. firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest buildup ahead of the Dubai World Cup click here.