Dubai Duty Free Extends Derby Backing

It is one of the largest single event sponsorships in Irish sport and Dubai Duty Free has extended its sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a further two years.

In addition, the world’s leading airport retailer has agreed to sponsor five additional races which will all benefit from significant increases in prizemoney.

It is a major boost for the racecourse as it prepares for its first campaign since the builders left last spring having created one of the best racecourse venues in the world.

Sport for Business members will have an opportunity to experience the venue and much more as part of a Sport for Business Racing Experience taking place on Friday, March 20th.

Dubai Duty Free has been the title sponsor of Ireland’s premier horse racing Classic, known around the world, since 2008 and this extension is a very welcome development for the newly redeveloped racecourse and the sport.

The three-day Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival will take place on June 26, 27 and 28 and will showcase world-class racing and entertainment.


In a new development this year, The Dubai Duty Free Village will be located in the new Curragh garden, providing a new entertainment venue close to the parade ring, offering an array of food and beverage outlets and a full programme of entertainment.

Dubai Duty Free will also continue to sponsor the very popular most stylish racegoer competition with a 5-star Dubai holiday awarded to the winner.

Total prizemoney on Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day on Saturday June 27 is increased from €2m in 2019 to €2.25m for 2020. In 2021 all races will increase to a minimum value of €100,000, matching the decision made around the Dublin Racing Festival that witnessed a ten per cent increase in attendance last weekend.

Dubai Duty Free have also increased their support of stable staff, continuing to present a trophy to the groom whose horse wins a Dubai Duty Free sponsored race together with a cash prize for the best turned out horse in each of their races.

“The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is a premium race meeting, generating global media coverage,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.

Global Strategy

“Our title sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is in line with our global strategy of promoting both our own duty free brand and the city of Dubai itself.”

“This sponsorship enables us to reach our potential audience and to speak to them through the medium of exciting, premium sport.”

“We have successfully sponsored the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for the past twelve years and we are happy to renew our sponsorship for another two years including this year, 2020 and 2021.”

“We are very pleased that we have been able to grow this festival, with the help of our partners at the Curragh. The weekend is now much more than racing with various ancillary events happening off the track over the weekend including a golf classic, a charity lunch and lots of local community initiatives which we are proud to support. It has grown to become a ‘must visit’ festival and we are proud to be the title sponsor.”

“Dubai Duty Free have been outstanding partners of the Curragh and I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution that Colm McLoughlin and his team have made to the success of the Irish Derby since 2008,” added Pat Keogh, The Curragh Racecourse Chief Executive.

“The increased support across their six sponsored races for the next two years will ensure we can maximise the quality and competitiveness across all races.”

“The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby was the highest rated race in the World and our objective is to ensure we attract the very best three-year-old horses in Europe.”

Today’s Highlights on Sport for Business

Image Credit: Patrick McCann, Racing Post

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