Dubai World Cup: Love at first sight for Emirati Safeyah


When Safeyah Aldhanhani applied for a job with the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA), little did she know that it would be a life-changing experience.

As someone who always wanted to discover value and purpose in the workplace, the experience that awaited the Emirati girl from Fujairah at the ERA offices was “out of this world.”

“I had never been to the races before and had no idea what the sport was all about,” she says. “But in my very first week at work, I was loving it. Every single minute.

“It’s such an exciting and prestigious sport and it was not hard to get involved and begin to enjoy the experience.”

Safeyah also had no clue that she was soon to become a trailblazer for women in the country as the first-ever Emirati judge, a key role where she was responsible for ensuring that everything relating to the result of a race as the horses cross the finish was correct and in order.

“I also work with the registry department at the ERA where I deal with the registration of horses, both Arabians, and thoroughbreds,” she says, “We also oversee the import and export of horses and deal with the entries and declarations for race days.

“They are very important roles but with the help and support from my colleagues I am learning to master the tasks,” says Safeyah.

“I love how the behind-the-scenes operation works at a racecourse like Meydan. It’s a whole different journey and every single thing that I have learned is new to me.”

Safeyah is so enchanted by the thrills of horse racing that she has involved all her family and friends.

“I’ve brought them to Meydan, Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali… everywhere, and they love it.

“Horse racing has changed my life forever and I’m absolutely enjoying the journey.”


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