Dubai's Amazing Races
Camel & Horse Racing
Dubai has something exciting for fans, sportsmen and women, or simply spectators who like the thrill of a race. All year round you can attend highly competitive races, from thoroughbred horse racing to running, biking, and driving contests to the only-in-Dubai dhow and camel races.
Dubai is home to races of all stripes, from horse and camel contests to sailing and motorsports.
Dubai has something exciting to offer year round — for fans, sportsmen and women or simply spectators who like the thrill of a race. The racing calendar begins each January with 24-Hour Dubai, an endurance motor racing event that pits amateur and professional drivers against each other in vehicles ranging from ‘tin top’ touring cars to ‘hot hatchbacks’, to proper GT3 machinery and purpose-built race cars.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
A very different kind of race is held each January, when tens of thousands of runners compete in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. The winning man and woman each stand to walk away with US$200,000, and if they break the world record, a US$1 million bonus. This makes the Dubai Marathon one of the world’s richest long-distance running events in history.
Starting in 2014, each February sees the world’s top championship cyclists peddle into town for the four-day, 417-kilometre Dubai Tour. One of the few cycling events of its magnitude to run within a single city, the Dubai Tour includes four separate sprints, each occurring in a different neighborhood, making it ‘the fastest sight-seeing tour ever’.
Dubai loves thoroughbred horse racing, and no contest surpasses the Dubai World Cup, held annually on the last Saturday in March. The world’s richest day of horse racing — with US$29.25m at stake across nine races — the Dubai World Cup (a US$10 million prize) is run on the renowned Meydan Racecourse. The affiliated 1,800-metre Dubai Duty Free and the 2,410-metre Dubai Sheema Classic turf races each award US$6 million in prize money.
For a more serene racing experience, you can’t beat the Al Gaffal dhow contest held each May. Watch from the shore as more than 100 beautiful 60-ft dhows race from Sir Bu Nair Island, off the coast of Sharjah, all the way to the iconic Burj Al Arab.
For a truly unique racing experience, check out the camel races at the Al Lisaili and Al Marmoum racetracks. From October to early April, camels ridden by robot jockeys fly down the track at speeds up to 55 km/h. With 60 camels competing at one time, crowds roaring and sand flying everywhere, you’ll realise that this is the kind of event you can experience only in Dubai.