Sunday, January 14, 2007
Asian Race meet on final approach

Global spread of delegates mirrors ‘Racing without Borders’ theme The first Asian Racing Conference (ARC) to be held in the Middle East gets underway in two weeks’ time (January 21-25), when Dubai takes centre stage in the racing industry.

More than 600 participants from thirty countries will be jetting in from all corners of the globe to participate in the week-long programme of business sessions and workshops at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort. The theme for the 31st global meet, ‘Racing without Borders’, reflects the impact of globalisation on the sport, racing’s worldwide appeal and cosmopolitan nature of its distinguished guests.

The strong internationally-oriented programme includes sessions on the movement of thoroughbred horses throughout Asia, the challenges facing US racing and the pursuit of excellence in racing administration. Lively panel discussions on a myriad of racing subjects will also keep the discerning delegates stimulated.

“The hosting of the Asian Racing Conference marks a milestone in the development of UAE racing,” said Eliot Forbes, a member of the ARC Organising Committee. “The Dubai World Cup has drawn thousands of racing fans globally over the years, but never before have we welcomed so many high-profile executives from across all sectors of the industry at the same time.”

Senior Vice President of the NBA’s Orlando Magic Pat Williams, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed and Jean-Francois Jeanne, senior marketing director for SPORTFIVE, will all be speaking on the podium, ensuring that the agenda is every bit as rounded as the delegate list. Complementing the business and operational sessions in the Madinat Arena will be a comprehensive schedule of workshops. On site will also be a display area comprising 30 trade exhibitors, creating the perfect forum for networking opportunities. Networking will also be high on the agenda with an extensive entertainment programme provided each night.

“The time is right for Dubai to have a conference of this importance,” added Forbes. “The city’s internationally renowned tourism appeal and perfect geographical position between east and west, north and south, make it a perfect location for a major conference of this kind.”

The ARC, a key initiative of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), is one of the key conferences in the racing world attracting top-tier administrators, industry participants, media and racing enthusiasts. The ARF has 20 member countries comprising Australia, Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and the UAE.

Lawrence T. Wong, Chairman of the ARC, said: “For ARF members it is a great opportunity to benchmark against the best in Asian and world racing, and for our colleagues around the world it is a window into Asia’s fast developing racing industry. With the support of the Emirates Racing Authority, the 31st Conference will undoubtedly be a most productive and memorable event.”