Can you bet on horse racing in Dubai?

The Quick Answer

Can you bet on horse racing in Dubai?

The only legal way to bet in Dubai is at Jebel Ali racecourse, although technically these are competitions rather than betting.
Gambling and betting are illegal in Dubai other than the above exceptions and carry very strict penalties for those who break the rules.
Your best option may be to bet online from outside Dubai or simply not bet at all.

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the UAE. The wide number of riding clubs and state-of-the-art riding and racing facilities is a reflection of its residents’ adoration and enthusiasm for the sport. From young children to adults and seniors, a large number of residents are interested in equine sport in some way, be it merely riding, jumping, or racing.

With so much interest in the sport and the associated events, one might wonder if betting on horse racing is allowed in Dubai like in other countries. If you are wondering the same, here is your chance to find out.

History of horse racing in Dubai

The first horse racing event was held in the UAE in Dubai in October 1981 under the guidance of Prime Minister and vice-president of UAE and Dubai’s Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Since then, the only way was forward as the sport’s popularity began to grow throughout the country. The first event that put Dubai on the global horse racing map was the Dubai World Cup held in 1996 on the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse 1996. In 2010, the event was shifted to the newly inaugurated Meydan Racecourse.

Since its introduction, the Dubai World Cup has become one of the top international horse racing events and garners the attention of millions of fans from around the world. Since 2019, the race has gained the status of the world’s richest horserace, with prize money worth $12 million.

Another major crowd puller is the Dubai World Cup Carnival. The event was launched in 2003 and takes place from January to March end. The event consists of eight race nights and offers the foundation for the horses to be launched into the Dubai World Cup.

All in all, it is safe to say that horse racing is a major industry in Dubai that enjoys international recognition and earns copious amounts in revenue.

Betting on Horse racing in Dubai

It may sound surprising to most that gambling is forbidden in the country home to the world’s largest horse racing event. Dubai is regulated by strict Islamic Shariah laws, and gambling is strictly prohibited.

Betting is not only banned in Dubai; it is also prohibited in the rest of the UAE. Although Dubai is a business hub and popular with business travellers, it does not have any land-based casinos.

Gambling in any form is so strictly prohibited that if anyone is found guilty of gambling, they would be inflicted with a two-year jail sentence and/or a fine of AED20,000. Therefore, if you are visiting Dubai or any other city in the UAE, it is important to avoid getting involved in any such activity.

Moreover, if you are planning to bet illegally, the local authorities do not take kindly to such occurrences. In 2020, an official app was launched, and citizens were encouraged to use it and report any suspicious activity around them.

Therefore, it is better to be informed and avoid getting in trouble.

However, horse racing and betting go hand in hand, and a notion of the race without wagering is not perceivable to many ardent fans. In that case, how does one cope if there are no conventional brick-and-mortar casinos in Dubai and the laws are so strict?

Where can I do Online dubai horse racing betting?

Dubai is renowned for its world-class horse racing events, particularly the Dubai World Cup held at the state-of-the-art Meydan Racecourse. Given the city’s passion for the sport, many enthusiasts seek Dubai horse racing tips to make informed bets and enhance their chances of winning.

In terms of online betting platforms that offer betting on international horse racing events, including those in Dubai, here are some of the most reputable ones:

Bet365: A leading online gambling company globally, Bet365 provides a vast range of betting options on horse racing from around the world, including Dubai.

William Hill: A well-established bookmaker, William Hill offers extensive horse racing betting options, encompassing races from Dubai and worldwide.

Ladbrokes: A significant figure in the betting scene, Ladbrokes provides a wide array of betting markets, including international horse racing.

Paddy Power: Known for its unique marketing campaigns, Paddy Power offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for betting on Dubai horse racing.

Coral: With a rich history in the betting industry, Coral offers a user-friendly platform for Dubai horse racing aficionados.

While these platforms provide insights, statistics, and Dubai horse racing tips, it’s essential to be aware of the legal landscape. The United Arab Emirates has strict laws regarding gambling, and online betting is generally prohibited. However, there are exceptions for horse racing, primarily limited to on-track betting. This means that while you can relish the excitement of the race and gather tips from experts, placing bets online within Dubai can be a legal grey area.

Before engaging in Dubai horse racing betting, ensure that the platform you choose is licensed and regulated in its jurisdiction, plus that you are permitted to bet in your location.

How to bet on horse racing in Dubai

As an ardent horse racing punter, you may be vying to bet on the esteemed Dubai World Cup, where betting on site is not allowed. Even if you meet individuals saying they’ll take your bet at Meydan Racecourse, do not fall for it. The repercussions will be severe if you take them up on the offer, are caught, and are found guilty.

Many people resort to using VPNs to keep their location and identity hidden on online betting sites. Internet service providers are actively blocking online sites, but avid punters use proxies to find bookies offering Dubai racing.

Your only legal option around Dubai is to head to a race day at Jebel Ali racecourse, and enjoy the racing there, where it is possible to at least enter competitions to win some prizes.

Our advice if you’re attending the races in person in Dubai, take a watching brief only unless you’ve placed your bets online before even entering the UAE.


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