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Nad al-Sheba Club information
A passionate love of Arabian thoroughbreds courses through the blood of Emiratis, and the Dubai-based Godolphin stables are well known to horse-racing enthusiasts worldwide. Though racing season officially starts in November, the Dubai International Racing Carnival (late January through March) is when things really heat up. But it’s not the white-linen set that packs these weekly races. It’s the not-so-civilised drunk expats in shorts and T-shirts – at least in the public areas. For access to the stands, you must wear a ‘lounge suit’, basically a jacket and trousers. The season culminates in the Dubai World Cup , the world’s richest horse race, with prize money of a dizzying US$6 million and a total purse for the event of over US$20 million. If you attend, dress to the nines. Nad al-Sheba’s races are held at night from about 7pm. Don a hat and make an evening of it. The stands are licensed, and there are various food and beverage packages available from Dh275 (for details, see www.dubairacingclub.com; click on ‘hospitality’). Check the website of the Emirates Racing Association (www.emiratesracing.com) for the exact dates of race meetings throughout the year. Even if you don’t like horse-racing, attending a race presents great people-watching opportunities.