In a welcome boost for Irish tourism ahead of next year’s Gathering festival, Emirates has announced Dublin will be the theme for its renowned Birdcage marquee at this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The exterior of the tent will capture the charm of a typical Dublin high street with its iconic shop fronts, while inside guests will be steeped in history, with the main section of the marquée based on the Long Room from Trinity College.
The marquee design will include authentic bookcases in a nod to Dublin’s rich literary history.
According to Emirates, “the menu will feature classic Irish dishes with a modern twist, while Irish-themed cocktails will be served as guests take in the unparalleled trackside views.”
Guests will also be treated to performances by Irish dancing troupe, the Christine Ayres Irish Dancers, who were recently crowned the world’s best in Belfast.
The Victorian Racing Club will be hoping that there are some Irish horses competing in the Melbourne Cup to add to the Hibernian mood.
Irish trainer Dermot Weld, the only Irish trainer to have won the famous race, has two Melbourne Cup hopefuls in Sapphire and Galileo’s Choice.
Barry Brown, Emirates’ Vice President Australasia, said the 2012 Melbourne Cup Carnival will bring together an Irish festival of food, music, culture and literature.
“With an estimated six million Australians having Irish heritage, and with Ireland and Melbourne having a strong link to thoroughbred horseracing, particularly through legendary Irish trainer Dermot Weld, we are expecting major interest from our Irish visitors at this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup,” said Brown.
“Emirates introduced its new one-stop flights from Melbourne to Dublin earlier this year, speeding up travel times in each direction and making it easier than ever for people to come to Melbourne to witness the ‘race that stops the nation’.”
Derby Day kicks off the Melbourne Cup Carnival on 3 November, with the Emirates Melbourne Cup on 6 November and Oaks Day on 8 November, while the Carnival culminates with Emirates Stakes Day on 10 November.
The Gathering is a Tourism Ireland initiative aimed at encouraging as many people of Irish descent, and indeed expats, yo visit the country in 2013.