February and March are shaping up to be a huge season for “world's best” faceoffs at the UAE Emirate of Dubai, which is set to host everything from championship horse races and polo matches to events featuring camel trotting and even turtle crawls.
Among highlights of the two months' lineup at the Persian Gulf emirate will be the Dubai World Cup Carnival (Feb. 6-March 29) in which global superstar horses, jockeys and trainers will compete in 11 races for prizes said to be the richest in the world. Also on the equestrian scene will be the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Feb. 24-March 14) pitting the top international polo teams against each other, also for fabulous prizes.
Global headliners of the two-legged genre will be coming to Dubai to compete in the prestigious Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Feb. 17-March 1). And – starring players on younger legs – the Cricket World Cup Tournament for batters under the age of 19 will be staged for the first time in the United Arab Emirates Feb. 17-March 1.
Other sports events slated for the two-month period include the Al Marmoum Camel Racing Season (Feb. 4-6 and Feb. 12-13) and Round 7 of the UAE National Race Day series (March 7) at the Dubai Autodrome.
On the other end of the competitive spectrum will be a turtle race set to end on March 14 after several weeks of thrilling rivalry during which successive updates of the contestants' progress will be reported. The race is an initiative of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, which has successfully rehabilitated and released various species of endangered sea turtles including the Middle East's native Hawksbill Turtle.
According to the latest figures released by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai welcomed more than 7.9 million visitors between January and September 2013, a 9.8 percent year-over-year increase. According to a DTCM spokeswoman, “With the launch of new flight routes and a full calendar of world-class events...2014 is slated to be Dubai's best year yet.”