Summer racing in Saudi Arabia returns with the new 2024 Taif Season

The event runs until September 28 at King Khalid Racecourse…

Giddy up. The much-anticipated summer racing season at Taif’s picturesque King Khalid Racecourse is back, which means it’s time to snag your spot and don your fanciest hats.

Taif is situated at a higher altitude and is closer to the coast than Riyadh, which makes it cooler and able to host racing throughout the summer months. So, switch up your summer holiday with a cooler destination without having to leave the Kingdom, and check out the new Taif Season.

And this year, there’s so much in store – from performances to exciting trackside experiences.


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Here’s what you need to know about the 2024 Taif Summer Race Night.

From Thursday July 4 to Saturday September 28, racing enthusiasts can look forward to a spectacular 39-night series over 13 weekends, with thoroughbred and Pure Arabian night racing under the lights.

In total, 351 races will take place, beginning with the Taif Flower Festival Cup on Friday July 19. Other valuable contests include the international Listed Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Cup for Purebred Arabians, worth SAR1 million, on Friday September 20, and the SAR400,000 Taif Derby on Saturday August 24.

What’s a little different about this new season is the increase in handicaps. This helps promote more competitive racing and provide winnable opportunities across the campaign, and there will be a total of 120 handicaps (up from the previous 79) – 56 for local and imported horses (up from the previous 35) and 64 for locally-bred horses only (up from the previous 44) – contested.

Exciting events and entertainment

Taif summer race night

Guests can enjoy the thrill of live racing every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 3pm onwards, surrounded by the vibrant atmosphere of Taif’s best street food vendors, outstanding restaurants, live music, and family entertainment. The gates will open at 2.45pm, and the excitement will continue until 9pm, with extended operating hours in the Trackside Terrace & Restaurant.

Are tickets still available?

General Admission is free and provides trackside views of an evening of top-class racing. It also includes access to both Grandstand seating and the modern Nabd Al Nadi, where you can enjoy light refreshments from the stylish lounges overlooking the Parade Ring. No booking is required for the General Admission; it’s free entry via the main entrance.

For those looking to enhance their experience, Private Suite tickets are available from SAR5,500, while the AlMutaqa private clubhouse, a large indoor equine-inspired lounge, starts from SAR10,000. Both offer closer access to the action and complete exclusivity for parties of up to 20 and 100 guests, respectively.

Where to watch the horses at King Khalid Racecourse?

There are a few great places to see the stars of the show at King Khalid Racecourse.

The Saddling Yard: Over 50 horses are stabled at the northern end of the King Khalid racecourse. Racegoers can see into these stables from a viewing area behind the Parade Ring.

Parade Ring: Approximately 15 minutes before the start of their race, horses are led from the Day Stalls to the trackside Parade Ring. Racegoers can watch the horses’ parade, see the jockeys mount up and become familiar with race numbers and silk colours.

Trackside: Experience the exhilarating sights and sounds of a dozen thoroughbred racehorses thundering down towards you by watching a race from the fence.

Grandstand: Watch each race unfold with panoramic views of the entire racetrack from the unreserved seating of the Grandstand.

Nabd Al Nadi: Get even closer to the action with access to the modern Nabd Al Nadi where you can enjoy refreshments in the lounges, overlooking the Day Stalls and Parade Ring. Alternatively, sit on its first-floor terrace for fantastic views down the home straight.

Taif Summer Race Night, until Sept 28, 3pm to 9pm, King Khalid Racecourse, Taif. @jcsa_racing

Images: Social