Ten have been declared with last year's winner, Kandar Du Falgas, back to defend his crown for his owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Trained by Doug Watson, he will be ridden by Richard Hills who was on board three weeks ago when the pair won the prep for this contest in good style.
Lemartinel saddles two, Nieshan, who is penalised for his win in the 2000m Group One Al Maktoum Challenge III last season, and Albar Lotois who chased home his stable companion.
Nieshan also finished in front of his stablemate in the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night and again in this year's National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi when they were third and fourth.
Gerald Avranche rode Albar Lotois in that race but switches to Nieshan this time. He explained: "There is very little between them and they should both run big races and go very close. They have shown they handle [the All-Weather] so that is not a problem and we expect two big runs."
Fryvolous won this race on the Nad Al Sheba dirt back in 2008 when trained by Rod Simpson and his latest handler Ernst Oertel will be hoping the eight-year-old can bounce back to something like his best.
Racing opens with a fascinating 1400m conditions race, restricted to two and three-year-olds and the race should provide early Classic and Dubai World Cup Carnival clues for 2012.
Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe introduces Factory Time to the UAE and the two-year-old will be very hard to beat if able to produce a similar level form to that he showed in the UK.
His most recent effort was a close sixth in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. He takes a massive drop in class and Al Raihe said: "He is a very nice new horse and has pleased us in his work having arrived about two months ago. This is the obvious starting point for him and we have to be hopeful."
Stable jockey Royston Ffrench rides with Ted Durcan and Carlos Sanchez on stable companions Big Zee and Hamlool respectively.
Of the older horses, Janood makes his debut for Mubarak bin Shafya having left Godolphin and has to be feared if able to recapture his early form of 2010.
He has been a bit disappointing since though and it could be that Watson's Al Sharood proves best of the three-year-olds.
A winner for Godolphin as a two-year-old, she won in France in August for John Hammond and is making her local UAE debut.
Watson said: "She seems a nice filly and we will find out a lot more on Friday. We would like to think she is a Carnival contender with the Balanchine and Cape Verdi obvious targets."