Dubai has rapidly gained a reputation for staging many of the world's major sporting events. It's a favored destination for viewing top-tier sports competitions year-round, offering warmer climates than most other places. These events also draw significant interest from Middle East online sports betting fans. This article will explore the premier sports events in Dubai that annually attract thousands of spectators, both in-person and online.
DP World Tour Championship
One of the most crucial sporting events annually in Dubai is the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. This event draws the curtain down on the DP World Tour and is staged annually at Jumeirah Golf Estates on the Earth Course. The world’s best players, including Matt Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy, and Henrik Stenson, have been involved in this event throughout history.
The most recent edition of the event was won by Jon Rahm in 2022, as he walked away with the majority of the $10 million purse. However, the tournament record scores are held by Stenson, as he finished 25-under with an aggregate score of 263 when landing victory in 2013. The 2023 edition of the event will take place between November 16 and 19.
Dubai World Cup
Horse racing is one of the few sports in the world that can be staged worldwide, with some of the biggest equine stars competing in huge Group 1s across the United States and the UAE during the winter months. However, few are as lucrative as the Dubai World Cup, which has been staged annually at Meydan Racecourse since 1996. It remains one of the standout events on the international calendar, with nine high-quality races taking place on Dubai World Cup Night. However, the feature is the standout for many, with $12 million being the purse for the 2023 edition of the race.
Cigar was the first race winner, while Bob Baffert’s Country Grammer was a popular victor in 2022. The most recent winner of the race was Ushba Tersoro, who became the first Japanese-trained winner of the Dubai World Cup in 2023. The richest day of racing returns in 2024, with the nine-race card on Saturday, March 30.
Dubai Tennis Championships
High-quality tennis action is also staged in Dubai annually, with the Dubai Tennis Championships seeing some of the top players on the ATP and WTA Tours involved. This event was first staged in 1993, and the players involved will be in action on hard courts.
It is one of the quickest-paced tournaments of the season, which typically draws comparisons to Singapore's competitive action. Roger Federer has been one of the standout winners of the tournament, as he landed eight victories throughout his career. Meanwhile, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina have been among the most popular women’s players in the event's recent history, landing two victories since 2015.
One of the standout annual events in the nation comes in the form of the Dubai Marathon. The event is labeled a Golden Label Road Race by World Athletics and has been staged annually since 1998. It is a standout event on the calendar for athletes worldwide, with some of the best long-distance runners having competed in the event since its inception. The men’s course record is held by Getaneh Molla, who finished the race at 2:03.34 in 2019. The women’s course record was also shattered in the same year by Ruth Chepngetich, who finished the event at 2:17.08.
Three runners have set the record of three victories in the race, including Wilson Kibet and Haile Gebrsellassie in the men’s event. At the same time, Aselefech Mergia is the only three-time winner of the women’s event. The event is attended by hundreds of thousands of people and is the most popular event in Dubai during January. All eyes will again be on the track in 2024, as the Dubai Marathon will be staged on January 7.
Dubai continues to be a hub for high-quality sporting action in the Middle East, with some of the area's biggest sporting stars in action throughout the season. Dubai’s success with hosting huge events has seen other locations in the Middle East follow suit and invest in hosting sporting events.