(Edited press release)
Meydan Race Course announced that January 28, 2010 was the date the first meeting would be staged at the new Dubai track.
The meeting will coincide with the start of the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival and feature the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE-III) for Thoroughbreds and group I Al Maktoum Challenge for Arabians.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the first meeting to be held at Meydan,” said Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, chairman of Meydan. “The racing facilities will be ready by Oct. 31 this year. This way, horsemen, whether they are Dubai-based or visitors from abroad will have time to familiarize themselves with the facility before racing begins in January.
“Meydan was introduced to the world on the eve of the Dubai World Cup in 2007 and to have it ready for racing in January 2010 is a remarkable achievement.”
Meydan will encompass two tracks, a 1,750-meter all-weather surface inside, and a 2,400-meter turf course, while its grandstand will accommodate 60,000 people and include a five-star hotel, marina, IMAX cinema, six haute cuisine restaurants, and a museum.
“(At Meydan), unparalleled levels of luxury, customer comfort, and racing technology will be combined to create the ultimate horseracing experience,” said Al Tayer. "As we are setting the benchmark in terms of world-class facilities, we want to complement that with increased prize-money of $10 million, to continue to entice the best horses in the world for the 2010 Dubai World Cup.”
Derived from an Arabic word meaning “where people congregate and race,” Meydan will take the place of Nad Al Sheba, which was Dubai’s center of racing from 1992 until the 2009 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March.