Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid attended the opening day of the 20th Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship on Friday.
The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai hailed the global status of the long-standing beauty competition, featuring 151 purebred horses competing across 14 categories for a share of a total prize fund of $4 million.
He said the world-class event, being staged at Dubai World Trade Centre until Sunday, has cemented the UAE's position as an equestrian hub.
This year’s show includes a number of horses that have won medals in equestrian beauty contests in the UAE and Qatar, as well as in the World Horse Championship held annually in Paris, France.
Sheikh Mohammed, joined by Sheikha Hessa bint Hamdan Al Maktoum and Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, also toured the 17th Dubai International Horse Fair, which is being held alongside the championship.
The leading equestrian industry event is hosting 60 exhibitors from 35 countries, bringing together horse enthusiasts, owners, breeders, stables and clubs.
This year’s DIHF includes for the first time exhibitors specialised in equine health care services, a market worth $24.5 billion globally.
The Dubai World Cup, one of the richest horse racing meetings in the world, was founded by Sheikh Mohammed in 1996.
It has grown to become one of the most important dates on the global horse racing calendar, with thousands of people packing into Meydan Racecourse every year to see elite jockeys and thoroughbred horses in action.
In 2019, Sheikh Mohammed's 18 poem collection, called For the Love of Horses, was launched at Meydan, the home of horse racing in Dubai, before an audience of artists, writers and intellectuals.