Dubai, UAE, January 3, 2012 - Meydan will offer its first double-header of the new year on Thursday January 5 and Friday January 6 as the Dubai World Cup Carnival gets underway.

Featuring some of the best horses in racing, the weekend also plays host to the 3rd annual Meydan Masters International Jockeys’ Challenge, where 12 of the world’s top jockeys are set to compete against each other in a series of four races.

Both racemeetings will be sponsored by Longines, the official timekeeper for all equine events held by Meydan. The programme kicks off the 16 fixtures that will be contested during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, which concludes with the Dubai World Cup on Saturday, March 31, 2012.

“This is always an exciting time of year with the start of the Carnival and the wonderful build up to the Dubai World Cup,” said Meydan Chairman of the Board and CEO Saeed H Al Tayer said.

“Thoroughbred racing has grown so much in Dubai since the first Dubai World Cup in 1996. It is through the generous support of partners such as Longines that appreciate the global appeal of racing and the brand alignment of Meydan, the Dubai World Cup Carnival and Dubai World Cup. Together we team to bring the best in racing to Dubai for these spectacular events.”

Walter von Känel, President of Longines: “We are delighted to be partner and timekeeper of the prestigious Dubai World Cup Carnival in the framework of our long-term commitment with Meydan. It makes us proud to be part of this exciting racing event.”

The Medan Masters International Jockeys’ Challenge is an invitational event that brings the world’s top 12 riders to Meydan to compete in a series of four races held over the two-day period. Points are earned based on best finishes in those races with a champion named after the completion of the four events. The 2010 winner was Richard Hills of Great Britain and the champion of 2011 was Calvin Borel of the United States.

Racing on Thursday, January 5 will have a 6:30 pm post time, and racing on Friday, January 6 will feature an early 3 pm start. Admission gates will open each day, 1.5 hours prior to the first race.