Victorious in Dubai: a city entwined with sporting legacy and achievement – Digital Journal


Photo courtesy of the Dubai World Cup

The opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

‘Japan has come with real rockets’. That was the commentator’s verdict on this year’s Dubai World Cup, as Japanese riders claimed victory in four of the seven races in one of the world’s most distinguished sporting events.

Yoshito Yahagi, the coach behind his success, couldn’t look happier as he celebrated courtside at Meydan. His horses are on a roll, but domination under the brightest lights of racing must have been sweet.

The taste of victory aside, the legendary Yahagi clearly feels at home in Dubai, a place that has continually punched above its weight in the global sports industry.

The secret of your success? World-class infrastructure and definitely being a global business and transportation hub. But what sometimes goes unnoticed is the quiet authenticity of Dubai sport, built on decades of heritage, care and cultural infusion.

The Dubai World Cup epitomizes this, as it was launched in 1996 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, with the vision, now a reality, of creating a Unprecedented festive event. and world-class racing experience in a global capital bridging east and west.

In a nod to the UAE’s illustrious history in the sport, the Dubai World Cup features a unique purebred Arabian contest alongside eight Thoroughbred races, showcasing years of specialist training and driving to the roar of the crowd. of Meidan.

However, when we talk about the history of sport in Dubai, it is not just about racing.

“The Emirates Dubai 7s and Dubai Desert Classic golf courses, for example, have also been woven into the cultural fabric of the city since 1970 and 1989, respectively. Indeed, while the HSBC World Rugby Sevens is a world series, Dubai’s match, the Emirates Dubai 7s, has become a glittering festival of fun. Quite literally.

Photo courtesy of Emirates Dubai 7s

100,000 fans from the UAE and around the world are expected to attend the men’s and women’s games this December and there are also several special guests in the mix.

Fusing art and performance with sport, something Dubai excels at, the stellar names of Craig David, Gorgon City and the Cuban Brothers will take to the field and pump up the crowd throughout the three days of action.

Everyone knows the importance of atmosphere in sport, and it can hardly be a coincidence that legendary moments often happen against a unique backdrop (see ‘The Fight in the Jungle’, Pelé’s exploits at the Maracanã and Nadal Finally defeating Federer under the gloom of the Wimbledon sky in 2008).

Mina Rashid Marina, while more conventional than some of Ali’s wrestling destinations, really does have something magical about it, with sparkling clear blue waters and views of the Dubai skyline.

This November, the Marina will host the Dubai Sail Grand Prix, bringing together the world’s best sailors and fastest boats to battle it out against the city’s thrill-seekers.

The brainchild of legendary sailor Russell Coutts and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Dubai residents and fans from abroad can sit front row to watch twelve fiercely contested races and then the final.

If world-class catamaran racing on Dubai’s historic creek is sporting innovation at its finest, then the Emirates Golf Club’s (EGC) Dubai Desert Classic best represents the city’s sport. legacy.

Running on the Majlis course for the past thirty-three years and now proudly part of the Rolex Series, the Desert Classic is the first event on the European tour to be held outside of European soil and the first on the Arabian Peninsula. conveniently nicknamed the Middle East SeniorMajlis’s 18 holes were designed in and around the dunes on the outskirts of the city, playing with Dubai’s unique urban geography.

Although the course takes its name from the Arabic word for “meeting place”, no professional golfer would consider it an easy day. The Majlis layout throws off a demanding par 72, 7,301-yard layout, wrapped in beautiful yet seductive native flora and fauna.

From the streets of the EGC to racing and even rugby, the last fifty years prove that elite sport in the city is nothing new.

The foundations for sporting greatness have been laid, so to speak, and every effort has been made to infuse Dubai’s major events with pure cultural appeal, whether it be through music, some of the world’s most incredible venues, , legacy brands or access to historical events. local experience.

So sports icons and fans alike can be sure that the next fifty years of sport in Dubai will be just as exciting as the last.


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