x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Tourism body in partnership deal with Ascot racecourse

It includes a branding agreement during the nearly 300-year-old Royal Ascot thoroughbred racing event which starts Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has entered a partnership with England's Ascot Racecourse, including a branding agreement during the nearly 300-year-old Royal Ascot thoroughbred racing event which starts today. The sponsorship marks the first time that Abu Dhabi's name has been directly associated with horse racing in the UK. Dubai is already a familiar brand on the British race calendar. Under the deal, the second day of the five-day Royal Ascot, will be designated Abu Dhabi Day, during which the Emirate's tourism brand will be displayed on starting stalls, staff jackets racecards and pennants. ADTA will also sponsor one of the races during the £1.3-million (Dh7.8m) King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 25th. That race will become known as the Abu Dhabi International Handicap Stakes, and be accompanied by ADTA-branded saddlecloths, jackets and a Bedouin tent.

"There's always been a close relationship between racing in the UK and Dubai, because of the interest of the Dubai royal families in thoroughbred racing," said Charles Barnett, the chief executive of the Ascot Racecourse. "It's the first time that Abu Dhabi's name has been linked with anything directly connected with horse racing in the UK," he added. The tourism authority's International Handicap sponsorship will precede the £50,000 His Highness The President's Cup, an Arabian thoroughbred race sponsored by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and presented by the Emirates Equestrian Federation. Both races will be broadcast live by BBC World, BBC Sport and many other broadcasters throughout the world.

In addition, ADTA will have an information booth at the racecourse throughout the year, Mr Barnett said. khagey@thenational.ae