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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Hats and outfits steal the show at Dubai World Cup 

Charlotte Hudders, an artist based in Dubai, was announced the winner of this year's most creative hat

Charlotte Hudders, right, won the Most Creative Hat contest. Reem Mohammed / The National
Charlotte Hudders, right, won the Most Creative Hat contest. Reem Mohammed / The National

Although it is the world’s richest horse racing event, the style and fashion at Dubai World Cup have become almost as important as the US$30 million race itself.

Tens of thousands gathered on Saturday to be part of the world’s richest night of horse racing. In stylish dresses and elegant suits, racing enthusiasts rushed from their homes as early as 10am on Saturday to enjoy the horse races, fashion competitions and many other entertainment activities held alongside the Dubai World Cup 2018.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, opened the the 2018 Dubai World Cup. Tourists and residents swept into the venue in force to watch 118 horses compete in the cup’s nine races, and eye-up each other's outfits.

A woman gets a massage at Dubai World Cup 2018. Reem Mohammed / The National
A woman gets a massage at Dubai World Cup 2018. Reem Mohammed / The National

“This is the second time I and my husband have come to this remarkable event,” said Tatiana Shiref, 29, who was at the Meydan Racecourse with two of her friends and her husband.

“It is always a challenge for the ladies to choose the best outfit and hat for the horse racing event,” said Mrs Shiref, a Lebenese resident of Dubai.

She said that she enjoys the horse race as well as dressing up for the occasion.

“I along with my friends enjoy the horse race. But it is also a great opportunity to socialise, and there are bands that perform traditional dances,” said Ms Shiref, who was wearing a black long dress, red high heeled shoes and a hat with red flowers.

A golden, butterfly-embellished hat at Dubai World Cup 2018. Photo by Reem Mohammed / The National
A golden, butterfly-embellished hat at Dubai World Cup 2018. Photo by Reem Mohammed / The National

Saif Mahmoud, 31, from Saudi Arabia, said: “My flight landed last night and I came to enjoy the world’s richest night in horse racing. The atmosphere here is indescribable. It’s all about wearing the best outfit and enjoying a sense of competition among the racers and the audience.

"A few days before the race, horse lovers start guessing who will win and which horse will perform better at the race.”

Mr Mahmoud, who was wearing a retro 1960s-style navvy blue suit, said: “Dubai’s horse race brings people from all over the world ... this is around the eighth time I have come to this event and I am always excited for it.”

Activities and awards also took pace at this year's Dubai World Cup, including the best hat award for the ladies and some activities for children.

Charlotte Hudders, an artist based in Dubai, was announced as the winner of this year's most creative hat. Her hat was handmade by herself and inspired by the artist Mattise. Ms Hudders makes wearable art.

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Read more:

Dubai World Cup 2018: Live updates from Meydan racecourse

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Ms Layla Aboud, who stood out from crowd in an off-white dress and a hat, said it was her first time at the Dubai World Cup.

“I came to the event with a group of friends and family members. I bought the dress and the hat to dress up for the occasion,” said Ms Aboud.

Charlotte Hudders, an artist based in Dubai, handmade her hat at Dubai World Cup 2018, which won the prize for the most creative hat. It was inspired by Henri Matisse. Reem Mohammed / The National
Charlotte Hudders, an artist based in Dubai, handmade her hat at Dubai World Cup 2018, which won the prize for the most creative hat. It was inspired by Henri Matisse. Reem Mohammed / The National

“I am impressed by how much effort people put in. It is really impressive. There are so many outrageous hats and dresses,” she said.

Ms Aboud said the yearly event offers a winning combination of horses, fashion, luxury and sports.

The UAE Derby Race, which has a cash prize of US$2 million, was won by Mendelssohn.

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