World's richest race – Last year the Dubai World Cup was scooped by William Buick on eight-year-old Prince Bishop, who retired after the career win.
Jockey Buick and owner Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, the late Crown Prince of Dubai, were visibly thrilled with the $6 million first place prize.
Punctuated by lavish parties, the month-long equine carnival attracts an international crowd of spectators, some sporting statement head wear.
Meanwhile the festival's coveted prize fund attracts horses, jockeys and owners from around the world -- but only the strongest horses can cope with the physical and mental demands of international competitions.
Trainers like England's Roger Varian have to consider the turf conditions and distance of each race, as well as a horse's disposition. Dubai's Meydan racecourse was returned to a dirt track in 2014 after the synthetic surface proved unpopular with US owners.
Pictured at his Newmarket stables, Varian gets to know each of his horses "like children" to select the right one for each race. He looks for "a strong neck and shoulder, well proportioned limbs, a deep middle and a well-developed backside."
For races as important as Dubai, the trainer singles out horses five to six months in advance, based on their domestic success.
Dubai's hot and dusty climate is is a world away from the chilly gallops in Newmarket. Varian has chosen three runners this year for the UAE -- Five-year-olds Battersea and top-ranked Postponed, plus four-year-old Intilaaq.
Newmarket has strong connections to Dubai -- this hero stallion Pivotal, stabled at Cheveley Park stud farm, has sired 25 Group One winners, including African Story, the Dubai World Cup winner in 2014.
Brazilian jockey Silvestre De Sousa rode African Story to win the race at Meydan in 2014.
The stallion was also owned by the Sheikh Al Maktoum, who died of an unexpected heart attack in September 2015.