Dubai World Cup: Your guide to world's richest horse race

The Dubai World Cup takes place on the last Saturday of March every year. (Supplied)

As the horses battle it out on the track and the fashionistas take the style stakes higher in the Apron View area, the Dubai World Cup is a bonanza like none other.

If you are a first-timer then an experience of the world's richest horse race can be slightly overwhelming.

What is it

The first Dubai World Cup was held in 1996 and American horse Cigar won the prize worth $4 million (approx Dh14 million).

Since then the stakes and popularity of the event have only gotten bigger. Now in its 21st year, it is the world's richest horse race.

Horses and jockeys will compete in the nine races for a collective purse of $30 million (Dh110 million), including a staggering $10 million (Dh36.7m) for the lead race.

Besides the prize money, glamour, fireworks, fierce competition, this event is also a reflection of the country's love for horse racing. Equestrian sport is an integral part of Emirati heritage and culture.

The Races

While Dubai World Cup night is full of glitz and glamour - a full day of pageantry - the focal point is the race track. So it is worth keeping the official racing handbook close to hand.

This year horses and jockeys will compete in the nine races for a collective purse of $30 million.

The winner of the main race (also known as the Dubai World Cup), which is the last race of the night, takes home a whopping $10 million.

Last year's runner‑up California Chrome is the favourite this year but a threat persists in the form of Frosted and Keen Ice.

The horses have all arrived in Dubai four to six weeks in advance of the race to test the water and recover from the travel.

The First race, Dubai Kahayla Classic kicks-off at 3.45pm, then Godolphin Mile at 4.20pm, Dubai Gold Cup at 4.55pm, UAE Derby at 5.35pm, Al Quoz Sprint at 6.10pm, Dubai Golden Shaheen at 6.45pm, Dubai Turf at 7.45pm, Dubai Sheema Classic at 8.20pm and finally the Dubai World Cup.

How to reach

Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is providing taxis and buses, in addition to parking slots for your convenience at the Dubai World Cup.

7800 parking slots have been created opposite to Meydan area for visitors. Those with hospitality packages will have car park pass. General public who choose to drive will be directed to the parking slots. 100 buses have been assigned to take you from parking slots to the Meydan area.

RTA will be operating shuttle buses to various destinations in Dubai post the event. 50 buses will ferry spectators from Meydan area to Burj Khalifa and City Centre Metro stations.

4000 taxis and limousine services will be provided and the pick-up and drop-off points are located outside the main grandstand at Gate B.

Dress to kill and win

Gents and ladies are expected to come out in force in an array of stylish hats and ensembles at Meydan today.

The Jaguar Style Stakes rewards the best dressed men, women and couples, and even the most creative hat.

It is only in Dubai that you win a Jaguar, watches, pamper packages, hotel stays for dressing up.

The judging panel will comprise experts from all fields of the fashion industry and media, who will look for style, creativity, immaculate presentation and flair across 6 categories. Remember to register at the Jaguar Style Stakes Arena at Level 1, Concourse A, C & D.

Style guidelines

By turning out in the best garb you can take home a new sports car, but it doesn't come easy.

Hats and fascinators must be worn at all times and your dresses/tops must have 2 straps at least 1 inch wide.

Mind the hemlines - it must not be higher than just above the knee. Brave the Sun the leave the shades out. No sunglasses to be worn by participants on stage.

Even if you are not competing in the style stakes, keep your casual wear away. Shorts, jeans and flip-flops aren't allowed on the Meydan Grandstand.

After Party

The World Cup day is as much about the party as the pedigree horses.

Following Jennifer Lopez in 2014 and Kylie Minogue last year, this super Saturday will see superstar Janet Jackson closing the event.

Multiple Grammy Award winner Janet Jackson will perform as a part of her 'Unbreakable' world tour.

The performance will be held on the Apron Views concert stage and access to the concert is exclusive to Dubai World Cup day ticket holders.