Irish Derby receives significant prize money boost from Dubai Duty Free

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Irish Derby receives significant prize money boost from Dubai Duty Free

June 26, 2015

Irish Derby receives significant prize money boost from Dubai Duty Free

The total prize money for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby will increase to €1.5 million in 2016 following the decision of Dubai Duty Free to extend its sponsorship of Ireland’s most iconic race for a further two years until 2017. The agreement made between the world’s most successful airport retailer and the Curragh Racecourse also gives Dubai Duty Free the option to continue its sponsorship for a further three years thereafter, up to 2020. Should Dubai Duty Free extend their sponsorship until 2020 their commitment will result in a total prize fund of €7.5 million over the term of the sponsorship.

Dubai Duty Free has been the title sponsor of the Irish Derby since 2008 and has worked closely with the Curragh Racecourse to develop the event into a major festival in the Irish sporting and social calendar.

Colm McLoughlin Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free said, “We have been working together with the Curragh Racecourse to create a festival that incorporates premier racing, fashion, food and fun. Over the years we have added more ancillary activities both on and off the track. We run a golf classic and charity ball at The K Club in the earlier part of the week and on Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day we sponsor the Best Dressed Lady. This year we also worked with the local communities in Newbridge and Kildare Town to have even more activities happening off the track in a bid to create a real sense of festival in the surrounding areas. We are delighted to be the title sponsor of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Sport and sports sponsorship is very much in line with our marketing strategy and we see this event as one of our key sponsorships.”

Paul Hensey, Curragh Racecourse General Manager commented, “The Curragh has enjoyed a very positive association with Dubai Duty Free since 2003, when the company first sponsored the Anglsea Stakes before taking over the title sponsorship of The Irish Derby in 2008. We are delighted to have secured the sponsorship of our flagship race and that our partnership with Dubai Duty Free will continue. We are very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free and his team for their outstanding support which has greatly benefited both the Curragh and the Irish Horse Racing Industry”

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby takes place on Saturday, 27th of June at The Curragh Racecourse with the 150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby running at 6.30pm. For more details, tickets or information see

For further press information please contact Evan Arkwright, The Curragh Racecourse on (045) 441205 or or Aileen O’Brien, O’Brien PR (045) 407017 or (086) 8403624
Dubai Duty Free, Sinead El Sibai, Vice President of Marketing Dubai Duty Free or + 971 50 652 2019

Notes to editor

Dubai Duty Free is headed up by Ballinasloe native, Colm McLoughlin who is the Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free. Founded in 1983, Dubai Duty Free recorded first-year sales of $20 million. Last year, annual sales reached a record-breaking $1.917 billion. The figure, representing a 7.36 per cent increase over the previous year, reaffirms Dubai Duty Free’s position as one of the largest single airport retail operation in the world, an accolade supported by Generation Research. Dubai Duty Free aims to raise that to $2 billion this year. The company employs almost 6,000 people

In 2014, Dubai Duty Free recorded almost 27 million sales transactions, an average of 73,960 per day, across Dubai International Airport (DIA) and Al Maktoum International (AMI) in Dubai World Central. Perfume is still the best-selling category, with sales of $314 million contributing 17 per cent of the operation’s total sales. Liquor sales amount to $286 million, followed by gold $163.6 million, cigarettes and tobacco $160 million and confectionery $147.7 million.

Leading the field

Dubai Duty Free supports sporting development at home and abroad with a host of prestigious international and home-grown events in its portfolio. Just some of the company’s sports sponsorships are highlighted below
Horses and horseracing are intrinsically linked to Arabian heritage, and Dubai Duty Free continues to promote the sport both at home and abroad, with some of the most prestigious events falling under its mantle. The travel retail operator’s sponsorship at Newbury Racecourse in the UK is now in its 20th year. “We have a strong horse racing sponsorship portfolio that includes the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot, but our first venture into race sponsorship was at Newbury, so it is a venue that we have become quite attached to,” says Colm McLoughlin. In April, Her Majesty the Queen attended the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Meeting – the start of Newbury’s racing calendar – for the seventh consecutive year.

The brand reached another milestone last year by becoming the Official Sponsor at Ascot for the first time. It has supported the team jockeys’ competition since 2000, first as sponsor of the Rest of the World team and from 2006 as event sponsors. “We have been associated with the Shergar Cup from the outset and have seen it develop into a unique and hugely popular event in the British racing and social calendar,” says McLoughlin. “We have pledged our continued support until at least 2016 to our established status as title sponsor of this event and Official Sponsor at one of the world’s leading sporting venues.” All six races on the card have been raised to £40,000 each.

This year Dubai Duty Free also took over the title sponsorship of The Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open was held just last month at Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Co. Down.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, one of its flagship events and continues to draw some of the top players in the world including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Venus Williams. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the tournament carries a prize pot of $5 million and this year was voted the ATP 500 Tournament of the Year, a remarkable 11th time in 12 years. The travel retail operator is also a sponsor of the popular annual Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament. Dubai Duty Free is also active in the powerboat racing arena, sponsoring the UIM Dubai XCAT World Series. Dubai Duty Free is also behind one of the youngest events on the UAE sporting scene, the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters.2014 also saw Dubai Duty Free sponsoring the International Basketball Federation’s U17 World Championship, as well as the hosts, the UAE National Team.


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