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 Travex Tips
  • The Museum parking area and nearby public parking areas are available (relatively few)
  • Do not self drive to museums and heritage sites as they are located in crowded old city areas and parking is a scarcity there; you are rather advised to use public transport.
  • Wear easy to slip in and out footwear as many places would need you to remove your footwear.

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Horse racing is one of the great past times of umpteen royalties of Dubai. Now with such a royal past time, you’d require a place and a race course to accompany that royalty. Enter Meydan – a visionary concept of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This project is a culmination of his vision to create not just a venue for horse racing, but an integrated city that is sustainable, environmentally responsible and one that positions Dubai at the center of the competitive global business stage.

About 5km southwest of Downtown Dubai, Meydan Racecourse is a part of the grandiose Meydan City and is home to the Dubai World Cup – an annually held Thoroughbred horse race. Created in 1996 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Dubai World Cup over the years has gone and become one of the world’s leading Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations. With such a majestic figure and title, one would expect the Meydan’s Grandstand to follow suit as more spectators would be willing to be a part of something so monumental. Luckily, it does. The Grandstand at Meydan is the longest single structure in the world, reaching over a mile in length, and can accommodate over 60,000 spectators. Bigger than most airport terminals and lidded by a crescent-shaped solar paneled roof, it also integrates a Horse Racing Museum, Gallery and a Five-Star Hotel and Nine-Hole Golf Course. When not in use for racing, it serves as a business and conference center.

Racing season starts in November but doesn’t heat up until January, when the Dubai World Cup Carnival brings top horses and jockeys to Dubai. It culminates in late March with the elite Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, with prize money of a dizzying US $10 million. Even if you don’t like horse racing, attending a race presents great people-watching opportunities, because it attracts fans from a wide range of nationalities, ages and social backgrounds.

Meydan has a free admission area where casual dressing isn’t frowned upon, but for the Grandstand, you’ll need tickets and might want to dress up as you’ll be seated with the who’s who of international and local personalities. Even Lady Gaga performed there on the 10th of September 2014 as part of her world tour, Astrave: The Artpop Ball. And that isn’t all as the likes of Elton John, Santana, Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson have all performed and hosted concerts at Meydan.

So if you’re in Dubai and have an inkling towards checking out something grand, do pay a visit to Meydan and be mesmerized by its sheer size and content.