SCOTTISH businessmen Ryan Smith and Calvin Smith will make horse racing history later this month after being named as official partners for the 2022 Dubai World Cup.
The pair own luxury tailoring firm Suited & Booted Dubai and have been announced as the official fashion hosts at one of the most iconic races in the world.
The entrepreneurs are to host the prestigious Style Stakes at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday, March 26, following in such illustrious footsteps as Jaguar, TopShop and Banana Republic as key figures in what is an annual institution in the Dubai sporting calendar. They are thought to be the first Scottish businessmen to sign such a deal since the first race meeting was held in 1996.
They are also featuring in a promotional in-flight video for the ‘world’s most spectacular race’ which is being shown on all Emirates flights arriving into Dubai up until the day of the race.
Details of the agreement, which sees Suited & Booted Dubai become the first home-grown brand to host the Style Stakes, remain confidential.
The showpiece, which sees nine races throughout the day, has a total purse of $30.5 million with all races securing at least $1m in prize money and is being beamed to 52 countries around the world. The winner of the flagship Dubai World Cup run over 10 furlongs collects $12m.
Edinburgh-born Calvin, 30, said: “It’s definitely a ‘pinch-me’ moment.”
“We have been very pleased with the way the business has grown since setting up in 2017 and a lot of hard work has gone into establishing our reputation as the best tailoring service in Dubai, but this takes things to another level for us.”
The organisers were keen to modernise the race day, which will see over 50,000 spectators flock to the course on the day.
Suited & Booted Dubai will bring a modern twist to the highly-anticipated best dressed competition, with thousands of pounds’ worth of prizes on offer for those who “dress to impress”.
“It’s unusual for such a young company to have this honour and we are absolutely delighted,” said 29-year-old Ryan, who began a new life in Dubai after leaving Saltcoats six years ago.
“People plan outfits for years to take part on the day. There are prizes of £1000 upwards for the best dressed but it’s not just about the winning, people love having their photos taken and being a part of the prestige of the event.
“We will be on the judging panel and that’s going to be great fun.”
Kirsty Campbell, founder of That Dubai Girl, this year’s event coordinating team for the Dubai World Cup, said: “The aim was to modernise the perception of Style Stakes so we brought in companies which would do that, and Suited & Booted Dubai were an ideal match for the vision we had.”
Current clients for Suited & Booted Dubai include Liverpool football legends Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush, former boxing world champion Carl Frampton and Dutch UFC superstar Alistair Overeem.