Umm Qarn Stud Farm: Six-star Luxury Hotel for Celebrity Horses
If you thought luxury hotels were a privilege that only the rich and wealthy humans could afford, you may think again. In Qatar, a West Asian state, emerging from the sandy dunes of the desert near Doha is a six-star luxury hotel - Umm Qarn Stud Farm, exclusively for horses!
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The Umm Qarn Stud Farm is a breeding place for some of the world's most expensive and successful race horses. Established by Qatar's former Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani in 1988, the hotel lies on a 580-acre land, which homes around 60 super- class horses. The idea of the hotel stemmed from His Highness Al Thani's love for horses and equestrian sports.
The main focus of the hotel is to maintain the breeding and development program of world class horses. The Umm Qarn foundation stallions have raced and won many laurels in international races in Russia and the U.S. The wins started from 1995 with 30 wins and continue till date. In 2011, the foundation stallions won 34 worldwide races.
In December 2012, Tabarak, an Umm Qarn foundation bred stud won the "Emir's Sword Race," Qatar's most prestigious horse race. The foundation has been winning the Sword for the past six years, all of them showcased in the exclusive hotel lobby.
The estate consists of a plush centerpiece, "The Majilis", which provides farm functionality and also caters to the horse auctions, presentations and visitor entertainment. A grand marble entrance leads to a huge lobby space adorned with beautiful chandeliers and exquisite furniture. The building contains offices of the management, horse fitness trainers and nutritionists as well.
The Majilis opens into a big barn with wide aisles and large stalls sporting rubber flooring and air conditioning. A large farm provides ample space for grazing and paddocks for the physical and psychological well being of the horses, fenced with white wooden railings for safety. Other amenities include 15 horse-walker treadmills, a veterinary lab, a swimming pool and a solarium (used in the winters and low temperature times) as well. A long sandy race track, where the horses are trained is the most essential part of the training curriculum. The horses are also given a nutritious meal of hay, imported from France and fresh homegrown alfalfa every day.
However, maintaining the large estate takes a lot of effort. Especially growing grass in the middle of a dry land, makes it a challenging task for the staff.
"The main challenge here is actually growing the grass. We don't have rain, the climatic conditions are very harsh, and there is a lot of salt in the water so we always have high PH levels." Bradford Smith, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club track manager, said to CNN.
Other difficulties remain, the soaring temperature, diseases and fungus - but the authorities have overcome them all over the years and have been trying to be one of the best in the horse racing industry of the world.
Check out the pictures of the Umm Qarn Stud Farm at CNN.
With all the luxury and pampering these horses receive, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) will definitely be happy about this!