Melos supplies synthetic granules to Dubai – Meydan City creates new dimensions for equestrian sport
The company Melos from Melle near Osnabrück has dawn international attention to itself by participating in a large project in Dubai. For the construction of the new unique equestrian facility in Maydan City, the company supplied the synthetic granules used to manufacture a floor covering fitted in a tunnel leading to the race course. This was a very special order for the 150 employee company whose main strengths lie in the production of synthetic granules for safety surfaces, athletics tracks and artificial lawns. Melos was also responsible for developing the granules used in the completion of the blue running track at the Berlin Olympic stadium.
Horse racing is very popular in Dubai. The Dubai World Cup with its 21 million dollar prize money is the most lucrative horse race in the world. It represents the conclusion and the highlight of the horse racing season in the United Arab Emirates. Horses from Asia, South Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Emirates all compete in this race. Only English and Arabic thoroughbreds are allowed to compete in the race. During the race itself, the horses reach average speeds of 60 km/h.
As a result of the considerable stress the horses endure during the race, it is all the more important that they receive special care beforehand and afterwards. The most important task for the Melos developers was to achieve the exact blend of granule colours. Upon completion, the coating should have the same colour as the ground /earth. Special shades of brown, beige and yellow were used. “Granules are heat resistant already”, said Jörg Siekmann, Managing Director of Melos. He stated however, that it was something of a challenge to meet the deadline of production and delivery within three months. After all, between the beginning of September and the end of November around 500 tonnes of material were shipped. The grain size used in the production is also special. At the company’s headquarters in Melle, grain sizes of 0.5/2.5 and 1/ 3.5 were mixed which are now being installed on site. The client is a contractor in Dubai.
The project manager Anja Husemann commented that it was a real challenge to combine the 182 tonnes of mixed coloured granules to produce the exact colour of 7 different lots. Deliveries to Dubai are however nothing new for the global player Melos. “We have already carried out a number of projects there”, says Husemann.
The Dubai World Cup will now be held for the 15th time on the 28th of January 2010 and, together with the grand opening of Meydan city, it will represent a premier with numerous superlatives: with a capacity of 60,000 spectators and a 2,400 meters long circular course, the arena is the biggest in the world. The completed Melos coated tunnel, which leads to the race track, is two kilometres long. To reduce noise, granulated material was also applied to the tunnel walls.
Both, the horse racing track, the so called “Race Course”, and Meydan City itself were constructed on a 6.2 square kilometre area more or less from scratch. Meydan City is only a few kilometres away from the estuary of the Dubai Creek. It is being constructed for Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates. Horse racing in Dubai is heavily subsidised by the government. This financial support has facilitated the development of professional horse racing in the United Arab Emirates.
Horse racing has a very high rating in Dubai
The ruling dynasty in Dubai, Sheik Al Maktoum’s family, represents one of the most significant and most successful businesses in horse racing worldwide. “Godolphin” is the name of their family racing club. Many members of the family are experienced riders who compete in the most prestigious races around the world and have even won world championships. The horses enjoy a very comfortable life in the Emirates with facilities such as a horse swimming pool, horse treadmill, and even a horse hospital.
The Sheik always makes sure his beloved horses receive a special treat: honeycombed oats from France.
In addition to the record 21 million dollar prize money for first place in the Dubai World Cup, the winner also receives a trophy made from 18 carat gold (185 ounces). Horse racing is consequently viewed in Dubai as a very lucrative pastime, which is also maybe one reason why over 700 horses compete in over 200 races each year in Dubai.
Meydan City – A large project in the Dubai Creek
Back to Meydan City: the “test-tube” city is divided in to 4 different areas. Equestrian sport is the centre of attention with a race track and good training and breeding facilities. Meydan City, however, also offers visitors cultural highlights in the form of a theatre and museum. A luxury hotel and gourmet restaurants are also available. The 10,000 space parking lot reflects the dimensions with which the city was built. Last but not least, visitors can go by boat from Dubai creek, via a 4km long canal, which flows through the city and dock in the newly erected Marina, which was built to the east of the spectators’ stand. The “desert town” combines 3 aspects: in the “Godolphin Parks” with the “Gateway Tower” (40 stories) it is possible to be close to the water and horses, while at the same time living close to the pulsating town centre.