Women weren't the only fans dressed to the nines at the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.
Women weren't the only fans dressed to the nines at the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.

Meydan's maidens strut their stuff at the Dubai World Cup

DUBAI // Elegant, beautiful and quirky. It was not just the thoroughbreds who were described that way yesterday at the Meydan race course. For the hundreds of fashionistas who had flown in from all over the globe to be a part of the world's richest horse race, winning those titles was a matter of prestige.

At the 2011 Dubai World Cup, the glitz and glamour was as important as the races that had enthusiasts cheering for more than 100 horses from 18 countries.

When the Apron Views, the location between the tracks and the Meydan Grandstand, opened to racegoers at 2pm, women wearing hats of all shapes and sizes and men in smart suits filled the galleries to watch their favourites on the field and strut their stuff for the shutterbugs off it.



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Cedikova Lucie, who travelled from the Czech Republic for the race meeting, decided to wear a simple champagne-coloured dress, complemented by a small, black laced hat this year, even though, she said, big and bold is her style.

"But you need to be realistic when travelling to another country," she said. "You cannot bring big hats, so this was the better option."

She said she had picked out the attire in Prague, specifically for the World Cup event.

But for many others, the more outlandish the hat, the better the chances of being picked for the Style Stakes. Shedding all inhibitions for one day, Susan Sauer, a marketing professional from Germany, decided to team up her outfit with a bird's nest hat.

"I take part in the fashion competition every year," said Ms Sauer, who travels to the race every March. She said she crafted the hat herself.

"I have won a few in the past and am hoping my birds nest with the two small birds made of straw and features on either side catches the judges' attention."

Stephanie Khouy, 31, was also vying for the best hat with her over-the-top hat made of large discs.

"The hat is made of discs that are played in clubs and I think it is quite original but the competition is tough," she said, pointing out another competitor wearing a hat that looked like an ice cream sundae.

While the socialites mingled at the Irish Village and Bubble Lounge, many families walked towards the ceremony stage to get a glimpse of the horses and their owners in the parade of nations that began around 4pm.

David Tobias, 41 who said he has never missed a World Cup, brought his children for the first time and said he would be staying till the very end. "We will be here till Sunday morning," he said, chuckling. "The kids will be tired at school but its an event that comes only once a year."

He said his daughter Sophie, who was dressed in a white frock and a small hat to match, is a rider and was enjoying the event.

"This is an opportunity for her to see the finest from around the world," he said.

Mr Tobias, who has been in the UAE for 20 years, was cheering for Frankie Dettori, the jockey who led SkySurfers to victory in the third race of the day. "When Frankie gets a decent ride, he is hard to beat," Mr Tobias said.

A keen follower, Mr Tobias said Meydan was to him the best racing venue. "The standards of the facility makes it the finest race track in the world, hands down."

International performances, including jugglers, men on stilts and traditional Arabic dances filled the entertainment gaps between races, something 37-year-old Khalid Mohammed, from Abu Dhabi, said his family always looks forward to.

"I come here for the races but for my family it is a good outing," said Mr Mohammed who brought a picnic basket and mats. "We came early so that we would get a good spot."

A first-time visitor to the Dubai World Cup, Robert Cecil, who travelled from Bahrain, said he was impressed by the grandeur around him. "I come from England where there is a lot of horse racing but this is on a much wider scale and it is very well planned."

In the evening, the race with the highest stakes, the Dubai World Cup that was worth US$10 million (Dh36.7m) was opened with a fireworks display and a theatre performance. It was won by Japan's Victoire Pisa.

Celebrations went on late into the night, with headline musical acts by the English singer Jessie J and DJ Seb Fontaine.

New Zealand 57-0 South Africa

Tries: Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder (2), Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Ofa Tu'ungfasi, Lima Sopoaga, Codie Taylor. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (7). Penalty: Beauden Barrett

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now


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T20 World Cup Qualifier fixtures

Tuesday, October 29

Qualifier one, 2.10pm – Netherlands v UAE

Qualifier two, 7.30pm – Namibia v Oman

Wednesday, October 30

Qualifier three, 2.10pm – Scotland v loser of qualifier one

Qualifier four, 7.30pm – Hong Kong v loser of qualifier two

Thursday, October 31

Fifth-place playoff, 2.10pm – winner of qualifier three v winner of qualifier four

Friday, November 1

Semi-final one, 2.10pm – Ireland v winner of qualifier one

Semi-final two, 7.30pm – PNG v winner of qualifier two

Saturday, November 2

Third-place playoff, 2.10pm

Final, 7.30pm

England's all-time record goalscorers:
Wayne Rooney 53
Bobby Charlton 49
Gary Lineker 48
Jimmy Greaves 44
Michael Owen 40
Tom Finney 30
Nat Lofthouse 30
Alan Shearer 30
Viv Woodward 29
Frank Lampard 29

Saudi Cup race day

Schedule in UAE time

5pm: Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Cup (Turf), 5.35pm: 1351 Cup (T), 6.10pm: Longines Turf Handicap (T), 6.45pm: Obaiya Arabian Classic for Purebred Arabians (Dirt), 7.30pm: Jockey Club Handicap (D), 8.10pm: Samba Saudi Derby (D), 8.50pm: Saudia Sprint (D), 9.40pm: Saudi Cup (D)

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5


Chelsea 1
Hazard (22' pen)

Manchester United 0

Man of the match: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

The Specs

Price, base Dh379,000
Engine 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6
Gearbox eight-speed automatic
Power 503bhp
Torque 443Nm
On sale now

Race 3

Produced: Salman Khan Films and Tips Films
Director: Remo D’Souza
Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah, Saqib Salem
Rating: 2.5 stars

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

I Feel Pretty
Dir: Abby Kohn/Mark Silverstein
Starring: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel


Opening fixtures:
Friday, Oct 5

8pm: Kabul Zwanan v Paktia Panthers

Saturday, Oct 6
4pm: Nangarhar Leopards v Kandahar Knights
8pm: Kabul Zwanan v Balkh Legends

Tickets can be bought online at https://www.q-tickets.com/apl/eventlist and at the ticket office at the stadium.

TV info
The tournament will be broadcast live in the UAE on OSN Sports.

Changing visa rules

For decades the UAE has granted two and three year visas to foreign workers, tied to their current employer. Now that's changing.

Last year, the UAE cabinet also approved providing 10-year visas to foreigners with investments in the UAE of at least Dh10 million, if non-real estate assets account for at least 60 per cent of the total. Investors can bring their spouses and children into the country.

It also approved five-year residency to owners of UAE real estate worth at least 5 million dirhams.

The government also said that leading academics, medical doctors, scientists, engineers and star students would be eligible for similar long-term visas, without the need for financial investments in the country.

The first batch - 20 finalists for the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinction.- were awarded in January and more are expected to follow.

'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore'

Rating: 3/5

Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Mads Mikkelson, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Jude Law

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

If you go

The flights

Etihad and Emirates fly direct from the UAE to Chicago from Dh5,215 return including taxes.

The hotels

Recommended hotels include the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, located in an iconic skyscraper complete with a 1929 Olympic-size swimming pool from US$299 (Dh1,100) per night including taxes, and the Omni Chicago Hotel, an excellent value downtown address with elegant art deco furnishings and an excellent in-house restaurant. Rooms from US$239 (Dh877) per night including taxes. 

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