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Emirates Becomes Sponsor Of Melbourne Cup

Emirates Signs As Main Sponsor Of Australia's Top Horse Race - The Emirates Melbourne Cup - Cup To Come To New Zealand

Emirates Airline has announced the signing of a seven-year partnership deal with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) to become the main sponsor of Australia's top horse race, now named the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Ghaith Al Ghaith (second left), Emirates' Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide, and Rob Fitzroy, Chairman of the Victoria Racing Club, lift the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington Race Course to celebrate the signing of their seven-year partnership deal. Also seen are Emirates' cabin crew members Siobhan Coverdale (left) and Nazli Mianaie.

The Emirates Melbourne Cup, run on November 2, is the highlight of the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival race meeting at Flemington Race Course which will be held between October 30 and November 6.

And prior to that the Melbourne Cup will be taken on tour to New Zealand.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates' Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide, addresses the press conference announcing Emirates' seven-year partnership deal with Victoria Racing Club, making Emirates the main sponsor of Australia's top horse race, now named the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

At a press conference today, Ghaith al Ghaith, Emirates' Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: "Emirates is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the Emirates Melbourne Cup ? an event which we regard as one of the most important in the racing and social calendar worldwide.

"Our involvement with the Melbourne Cup dates back eight years, and we have seen the Cup grow into one of the world's premier race meetings. Emirates is committed to our business in Melbourne and we look forward to working with the VRC to bring the Emirates Melbourne Cup to new heights."

Announcing the Emirates Melbourne Cup World Tour, VRC Chairman Rod Fitzroy said: "This partnership builds on the success of the existing arrangements we have had with Emirates and gives a renewed focus and direction as we go forward.

"With respect to the Emirates Melbourne Cup, the VRC now has a partner that will enable us to increase the international awareness of Australia's most famous horse race through the Emirates Melbourne Cup World Tour.

"This year, the tour will see the Cup leave these shores for the first time as it takes in a New Zealand leg before returning to Australia. In 2005, the Cup will be taken to major cities throughout Asia, Europe and America in September prior to it returning for its tour of Australia and New Zealand in October.

"Under the new arrangements forged with Emirates, the VRC can now commit to staging the first A$5 million Emirates Melbourne Cup in 2005 while the final year of the seven-year agreement will coincide with the 150th Cup - which is sure to be a major milestone for both the VRC and Emirates. Accordingly, the VRC has committed to ensuring that the prize money for the 2010 staging of the race is at least A$6 million."

About Emirates Since its launch in 1985, Emirates Airline has received more than 250 international awards in recognition of its efforts to provide unsurpassed levels of customer service.

The airline has experienced rapid and consistent growth, above 20 per cent a year on average and has been profitable for the last 17 years. Financially self-sustained and unprotected, Emirates carried 10.4 million passengers in the 2003-04 financial year - almost two million more than the year before - and declared a record US$ 429 million profit, an increase of 73.5 per cent over the previous year, on revenue of US $3.6 billion - nearly $1 billion more, or 37 per cent better than the year before.

Emirates is the world's fastest-growing intercontinental airline, one of the world's five most profitable and among the 20 largest ones. It is based in Dubai, one of the few cities in the world that pursues an open-skies policy, with more than 110 airlines in free and fair competition.

Its 69 all wide-bodied fleet includes five Boeing 747 freighters and is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of 46 months. The airline plans to more than double its size by 2012.

Emirates announced the largest order in commercial aviation history at the 2003 Paris Air Show, when it added 71 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft worth US$19 billion to its order book, which now stands at 88 aircraft worth US$26 billion.

Emirates operates services to 77 cities in 54 countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific. Since January it has begun services to Lagos, Accra, Glasgow, Shanghai, Budapest (cargo only), Vienna, New York and Christchurch.

Emirates Airline includes Emirates SkyCargo and Destination & Leisure Management (D&LM), which manages Emirates Holidays, Arabian Adventures and Al Maha Desert Resort. The airline is part of the Emirates Group, which also includes associate companies Dnata, Mercator, Transguard and Galileo.

Visit Emirates online at

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