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Global airlines Emirates is set to wow the public and A-list guests again at upcoming Melbourne Cup. This major sponsor of international sporting events has been a partner and title sponsor of the Melbourne Cup Carnival since 1997. This year, the airline celebrates 16 years of operation in Victoria.
Emirates set the bar for the Birdcage in 2005 with its exotic Moroccan-themed marquee and again made headlines in 2011 with its replica of Versailles with French garden terrace.
This year, the sponsor of the Emirates Melbourne Cup and Emirates Stake Day offers a cultural journey through Ireland. Emirates' Vice President Australasia, Barry Brown was excited about this year's theme as Australia and Ireland share a history of thoroughbred horseracing. In addition, the airline's new one-stop flight linking Melbourne and Dublin will make it easier for their Irish guests to attend the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Inspired by the Ireland's famous landmarks. the marquee plans to capture the charms of Trinity College, one of the greatest universities, the rich literary history of influential writers and playwrights like Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats, and a Dublin high street with iconic shop fronts.
Barry Brown, Vogue Williams and Brian McFadden / Photo courtesy of Emirates
In addition to the Irish decor, Brian McFadden, accompanied by his wife Vogue McFadden, will help kick off the Emirates Melbourne Cup festivities in true Irish style with a live performance. Guests will also be entertained by Irish music and dance from the world champion Christine Ayres Irish Dancers led by Liam Ayres of worldwide phenomenon Riverdance.
Christine Ayres Irish Dancers / Photo courtesy of Emirates
The Irish Country Kitchen has prepared a gourmet menu of Irish delights including Minty Blarney Meatballs, Handmade Beef and Guinness Pies, Shamrock Pie and Classic Irish Stew accompanied by cocktails with an Irish twist including a combination of champagne and Guinness.
To help guests continue to look their best in the marquee and at the races, Emirates has organised an air-conditioned styling area armed with Napoleon Perdis Lip Bar and makeup stations. Here guests can have their makeup touched up by Napoleon's professionals who work the Fashion Weeks in Australia and internationally. Looking good continues with help from renowned South Yarra stylist, Conrad Mace and a selection of classic Bvlgari fragrances.
Melbourne Cup / Photo by alittlebitdramatic of Flickr
Emirates is all set to provide guests with a truly luxurious trackside experience but all this pampering doesn't come cheap. The airline signed a 7 year sponsorship deal with the Victoria Racing Club costing some AUD50 million in 2004. The annual costs for the marquee alone is AUD2 million. It seems the money is well spent as the Emirates Melbourne Cup not only televises the company's brand name to 700 million views worldwide but it also allows Emirates a meaningful way to connect with its most frequent flyers and build goodwill and loyalty.