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Dubai World Cup

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Am starting to plan a trip to the Dubai World Cup (horse race) being held on March 25. Haven't yet got my bearings for visiting.

Initial plan is to spend two nights (23rd & 24th) at the Sheraton Jumeira Beach and the next two nights at the Sheraton 4 Points in Dubai (thinking that this location would be more convenient for getting to/from the race course and the price is better).

So, it would be two days relaxing at the resort followed by a day at the races and a day to see whatever sights there are in Dubai. Might go to Muscat for a couple of nights before or maybe after Dubai.

Any advice for this trip would be welcomed, esp. info regarding race day (getting in, getting to/from).

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    4 Points is not more convenient for the races - if anything it will be easier from Sheraton JB. Sheikh Zayed Rd hotels eg Crowne Plaza for similar price would be easier.
    For the races you can do one of a few options -1) pay nothing and have no access to alcohol. You will have access to the parade ring and lower levels of grandstand 2) go to the International Village which costs around $45. This provides access to the most populat western hangout as lots of tents to get food and get alcohol. Problem is you have no direct access to see the horses and getting back to village is a hassle as you have to queue and get your tickets checked again; 3) pay more ($60 ++) and get a box seat up in the higher levels of grandstand or say the Golf Club area.
    Last year you culd buy tickets in advance up to 48 hours before the day. Alternative is to queue on the day.
    World Cup is not really about horse racing for local expats, more about getting dressed up and many people will hardly glimpse a race. So if you are into the horses it can be a bit disappointing. The Arc and the Derby have a huge number more people that actually know a horse's bum from its head compared to World Cup. Betting - there is none, but you can ring up an international number for the British bookies if you have an account. Internet for betting will not work except in specific areas as betting sites are barred.
    Getting back from the races is a total pain. Dubai big events are hopeless for return cabs - lets queue for 2 hours or walk out of the racecourse and grab a cab that is heading to the course (as those that queued the previous year do!). Public transport to major hotel areas would be a little too intelligent.
    Can take 30 minutes or so queuing to get into Int Village as well.
    So is it worth it - living here I will go. If I was spending money to travel to one of the big horse race meetings in the world, I would recommend ahead of World Cup in no particular order 1) Derby; 2) Arc; 3) Melbourne Cup ; 4) Royal Ascot; 5) King George; 6) Cheltenham; 7) Breeders Cup (depending on track); 8) Hong Kong's big international meeting. Combination of betting with more knowledgable crowd make them all more attractive if you are into horse racing in my view. If you are into Ladies Day's type of days where drinking and being seen is the most important thing then World Cup fits the bill wonderfully.

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    Thanks for your insight and info, Travelnick. I haven't been to the King George or Cheltenham; am hoping to go to the Melbourne Cup this year. I've already been to the other five racing events that you mentioned. Yes, I would be there for the racing and, just this once, could to the races without making a wager. I'm going to have to think about this some more (I saw another thread where a poster said that he was interested in going to Dubai but were not interested in the beach or shopping and the reply to that was that he shouldn't go to Dubai).

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    The reply was fairly accurate but there are also some other aspects that I am a bit cynical about Dubai on. Beach quality here is overrated - with the building of the Palm water quality in certain areas can be mediocre. At Meridien Mina Seyahi which is not far from Sheraton - and closer to Palm I could not see my knees as water was cloudy. Jumeirah Beach Hotel is OK. Also for Sheraton, you are next to the power station - they do not show you that on the internet! If you are into beaches there are many better places. Shopping is OK but much of it is not as cheap as people make out (eg Next clothes here are 30% more than UK). Electronics are cheaper but warranties may be shorter and stock may be not what you think you are getting. Gold and cars are definitely cheaper. Selection of fashion stuff much inferior to London, Paris etc.
    You will see some good horses of course in Dubai World Cup but I had a much better view on TV in the UK than here last year. It obviously is an experience, but if you are going to Melbourne Cup I would be tempted to save Dubai money and extend your trip and spend more time in Oz - for racecourses Ascot at Perth by the way is a very pleasant course (but lacking a buzz since the 80s), you may find Melbourne courses disappointing with Flemiongton OK and others mediocre (especially M Valley - dump, or at least it was in 89). Alternative stop over in Bangkok - dirty, smelly but much more interesting than Dubai in my view - better shopping, go to the races there and take off to one of the islands for the beach and pay much less for a 5 star hotel than Dubai in March. You could also drop off in Dubai - if you like it, plan for the following year.

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