The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival



The eagerly awaited, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival featuring the Good Food Ireland Village takes place next month at The Curragh Racecourse from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th June.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby FestivalThe home of Irish racing plays host to the three day festival, which sees the world’s finest thoroughbreds compete for one of the ultimate prizes in Irish sport. The racing calendar meets the social calendar over three days and attracts a diverse range of visitors including racing enthusiasts, punters, socialites, fashion fanatics, entertainment seekers and families and is sure to be a great day out for all.

Sunday 26th June is the culmination of the festival when the best Irish and international horses compete for the €1.25m prize in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. 2011 marks the fourth year of Dubai Duty Free’s sponsorship of the Irish Derby and this year, the world’s leading airport retailer extends its support for the event by taking over as sponsors of the prestigious Most Stylish Lady Competition on Derby Day. The judges who will have the enviable task to select this year’s Most Stylish winner, include Celebrity Chef, Rachel Allen, TV and Radio Presenter, Mairead Farrell and Melanie Morris, Editor of Image Magazine. The winner will be presented with a magnificent prize of a 5 star holiday to Dubai, plus a shopping spree at Dubai Duty Free, while the runners-up will receive a vintage silver oval bracelet by Helen Fitrzpatrick for Tipperary Crystal.

The festival kicks off on Friday, 24th June with a lively six race evening programme, featuring a free concert from Boogie Nights after the final race. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Golf Classic also takes place on Friday at the K Club (Palmer Course) with teams of four costing €600. Saturday 25th June also includes fashion and style with the Best Accessorized Outfit competition sponsored by The Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge, while beauty sponsor, Sally Hansen, will also offer prizes for the lady judged to have the Best Manicured Nails and Most Perfect Legs. The feature race on the day will be the Group One Stobart Ireland Pretty Polly Stakes, which attracts some of the top fillies in Europe, while the race is also part of the prestigious Breeders Cup Challenge Series. Following the races on Saturday, The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Ball in aid of Irish Autism Action takes place in the stunning surroundings of the K Club. Tickets are €125 each with details available from the racecourse or book directly with Irish Autism Action 044 9342576 / 087 2496068 (mobile).

The Good Food Ireland Village makes a welcome return to this year’s event allowing guests to experience the very best of local food dishes from Ireland’s top restaurants, hotels, cookery schools and food producers all in one place. Cookery demonstrations in the Neff kitchen Theatre will surprise with TV personalities and local food heroes. Situated in the heart of the action beside the Parade Ring, The Good Food Ireland Village will be open well throughout the festival and is a must-visit attraction.

Speaking of the festival, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine commented, “The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival is a celebration of the Irish bloodstock industry which, together with the Irish food industry, is one in which this country excels and for which the country is justifiably renowned. Derby weekend has always been one of the highlights of the Irish sporting year and is a real showcase opportunity for Ireland. I want to commend the sponsors for their support and wish everybody associated with the Festival every success over these three great days.”

Speaking about The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival, General Manager, Paul Hensey said: “This year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival is set to be our biggest and best yet with the introduction of a number of exciting new initiatives aimed at broadening the appeal of the weekend. The event promises something for everyone including world class racing, glamour, live music and a selection of the best food that Ireland has to offer. I’d like to thank all our sponsors, new and existing for supporting us for the 2011 festival, especially Dubai Duty Free, our title sponsor.”

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival start from €8 and are on sale now from or There is also a 3 day flexi ticket available between now and the 9th June, which costs just €50 and covers entrance for the entire weekend – saving you €25.

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About The Curragh

The Curragh Racecourse is one of the most historic sporting venues in Ireland with the first race taking place in 1741. The County Kildare venue hosts some of the most famous horse racing events in the world from March to October including the Abu Dhabi Irish Guineas Festival, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, the Darley Irish Oaks and The Irish Field St Leger.

The Curragh is also one of the premier thoroughbred training grounds in the world with some of the leading trainers in the world based there including Dermot Weld and John Oxx, with thousands of people making their livelihood in the locality including vets, farriers, feed companies, stable staff etc

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

The first Irish Derby was run in 1866 and was won by Selim. The race is the most valuable horse race run in Ireland and one of the most valuable and prestigious in the world’s international horse racing calendar, The race has been sponsored by Dubai Duty Free since 2008. The Derby is the highlight of a 3 day festival which is titled the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival

About Dubai Duty Free

Dubai Duty Free, which is currently the single largest airport retailer in the world has recorded year-end sales of US$1.27 billion in 2010, Celebrating 27 years of retail excellence, the operation is committed in promoting Dubai as a leading business, leisure and sporting destination through its high-profile sponsorships.

Dubai Duty Free operates the retail operations at Dubai International Airport. As well as being recognized as one of the best airport retailers in the world, Dubai Duty Free owns the Aviation Club complex. The Irish Village, the Dubai Tennis Stadium and Century Village established to provide the best in sports, restaurants and entertainment.

Losing weight for your holidays? What a waist!

Across Ireland and the UK, women are currently doing their best to get slim and trim before the dreaded bikini holiday pics, and a survey reveals just how successful they are but also how quickly a holiday in the sun can undo all that good work and why. We have also looked at the best and worst holidays for weight loss and gain and asked that age old question – after all that work in prep for your holiday – were you happy with your body on holidays? The results are revealed…..

Losing weight for holidays

81% of all Irish ladies from all age groups want to shed weight for their holidays. Between the ages of 18-45 a staggering 40% have lost over 6 lbs and 11% even manage to lose over a stone for that all important holiday package holiday in the sun ….

Undoing all the hard work…

What is the most we have gained on holidays? According to this group of lovely ladies those between 18 and 30 gained 4lbs while those 31+ gained around half a stone on package sun holidays! And the likelihood we will go on these holidays again…..oh yes bring it on!

Portion sizes

It seems that younger ladies eat more on holidays (55%) when compared to their older counterparts (47%) who have learnt some lessons about piling on the holiday pounds.

46% of ladies between the ages of 18 and 45 increase their portion sizes by a quarter, 10% by a half and 5% DOUBLE their portion sizes. While, 38% of older ladies (aged 45+) increase their portion sizes on hols by a quarter, 8% by a half and 1% by double.

To compound this “all you can eat mentality”, finding healthy options is a big problem (40%) with carbs such as chips and pizza being big offenders followed by saying NO to dessert!

Now down to booze!

65% of all ladies surveyed increase their alcohol intake on holiday and the 30-45 year olds are the age group who ups their alcohol intake the most at 72%! Wine, cocktails and beer are the most popular and with over 100 calories per glass of wine, around 240 calories per pint of beer and up to around 300 calories in a cocktail no wonder we put on weight on holidays!!

What about activity?

Ladies aged 18-45 are divided into 3 equal groups when it comes to being active on holidays. About one third are more active, one third are just as active while one third are less active on holidays. Interestingly the older we get the more active we seem to be on holidays with 53% of those aged 46+ stating they were usually more active on holidays by swimming and walking more! For the younger ladies beach holidays (some with the girls!) were mentioned as the least active holidays while going on holidays with families increased those calorie burning activity levels!

Holiday losers…

Those who did actually lose weight at some point in the past on holidays (38% ladies aged 18-45) mainly put it down to being on active holidays such as skiing, camping and hiking! Visiting family seemed to be quite a popular one for losing weight…which could be stress related? Tummy bugs, the heat and “disgusting” hotel food also caused some people to lose weight.

Baring our bodies!

With all this talk about food, what about how we feel about baring all on our holidays?

A staggering 70% of ladies aged 18-30 have NEVER felt body confident while on holidays.

50% of ladies aged 31-45 said they never felt body confident but 32% of the same group said that they felt completely body confident in their 20’s.

40% of those ladies aged 46-60 said they were never happy with their bodies on holidays while 42% of the same age group said they were body confident in their 20’s and 30’s.

Something is amiss…are we ever really happy with our bodies?

Amount of ladies surveyed: 1,339

Tescodiets has now gone MOBILE to allow ladies to take their diet plan with them wherever they go….even on holidays! is an amazing source of advice and support with 16 diet plans so you can choose one to fit in with your tastes and lifestyle. You will receive weekly meal plans, expert nutrition advice, inspiring food ideas, an online community, a customised fitness programme and above all a personal diet mentor.