Durban - All roads lead to Durban this weekend as Africa's greatest horse racing spectacular returns with a bang.
Punters and fashionistas are gearing up for a spectacle that will make the heart race faster than a thoroughbred at full gallop.
The Hollywoodbets Durban July is back, and a bumper crowd of 50,000 people are expected to pay witness the thrill and glamour that only this event can deliver.
As the horses thunder down the tracks, so too does the economic impact on the local economy, with a staggering contribution of over R431 million expected to be injected into the local economy, according to Economic Development and Tourism MEC Siboniso Duma.
The Durban July has cemented its position as a major highlight on the KwaZulu-Natal calendar, attracting racing enthusiasts and fashionistas from all corners of South Africa and beyond.
This prestigious event is not just about the exhilarating races; it's a catalyst that invigorates the city and fuels the tourism industry, breathing life into the local economy.
With the record-breaking stake of R5m up for grabs, the eThekwini Municipality is eagerly preparing to host this adrenaline-fuelled extravaganza at the iconic Greyville Racecourse on July 1.
While city officials anticipate a crowd of between 35,000 and 48,000 punters and fashion-forward individuals, Hollywoodbets, the event's headline sponsor, is betting on a staggering 50,000-strong attendance.
The economic implications of the Durban July are nothing short of remarkable, as it is expected to generate a direct spend of R65m, injecting a staggering R130m into the GDP.
Not to mention, the event is set to create 1,500 job opportunities, offering a glimmer of hope and prosperity to the local community.
But it's not just about the money; it's about putting the Zulu Kingdom on the world stage.
Duma highlights the invaluable public relations and destination coverage the event brings to this mesmerising region.
The Durban July shines a spotlight on the Zulu Kingdom, captivating the attention of the world and enticing tourists from far and wide.
“As the provincial government, and through our tourism promotion entity, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, we continue to work closely with tourism partners from the continent to grow this event into a truly Pan African event boosting tourism,” he said.
In a move to further enhance the visibility and brand awareness of the Zulu Kingdom, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal has secured the naming rights for the fifth race of the day, now officially known as the Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper.
This race promises to be a riveting affair, with 16 talented two-year-old fillies vying for victory over a distance of 1400m and a grand prize purse of R400,000.
Ensuring the safety of the thousands of residents and visitors attending this prestigious event remains a top priority for the eThekwini Municipality.
With that in mind, approximately 100 Metro Police officers will be strategically deployed throughout Greyville, safeguarding the well-being of all attendees.
While some of Durban's beloved beaches may be closed due to sewage infrastructure issues in the Umhlanga area, there's no shortage of pristine coastal beauty along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline.
Visitors are encouraged to explore the 600km stretch of stunning beaches, from the breathtaking shores of Ballito to the sun-kissed sands of Amanzimtoti, just a stone's throw away from Durban.