To mark Emirates’ milestone of 20 years of operation in Australia, Emirates has aptly announced Australia as the theme of its highly anticipated Birdcage marquee at this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Emirates will welcome guests through the doors of its classic Australian homestead inspired marquee, taking inspiration from its local destinations – Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney – into an interior filled with vibrant flora and fauna including eucalyptus mint, waratahs, kangaroo paws and cockatoos – a true nod to our diverse countryside.

“Emirates wanted to mark its 20-year anniversary of operations in Australia and what better way than bringing Australiana to The Birdcage. We are excited to celebrate the home of the Melbourne Cup Carnival as part of our 13th year as Principal Partner of the Emirates Melbourne Cup, and 19th year of involvement with the Victoria Racing Club,” said Barry Brown, Emirates Divisional Vice President – Australasia.  


To create the design, Emirates has collaborated with Head Designer of Bazmark Inq, Silvana Azzi Heras, who has worked alongside Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin for the past 18 years, to create a classic Australian homestead for Emirates’ guests to enjoy.


Inspired by Australia’s extraordinarily vibrant and unique flora and fauna guests of the Emirates marquee will be greeted by a towering 4m Australian gumtree, which will take pride of place in the centre of the marquee. This will be complimented by 1930’s inspired Australian Art Deco furnishings with a contemporary Australian design.

Emirates Marquee - Entrance

Racegoers will also be able to enjoy unsurpassed views of the Flemington racetrack for the race that stops a nation™, on a sweeping veranda that will extend the length of the marquee, and be adorned with rainforest ferns and palms found in Victoria’s Otway ranges.

Autore Group, one of the world’s largest South Sea pearl companies, will offer guests the chance to sample pearl meat, a rare and prized seafood served in pearl shells sourced from the crystal waters off the north west coast of WA.

A stunning collection of pearls will also be on display.


The Emirates marquee will once again host the Birdcage’s only fully serviced, sit-down restaurant offering guests a unique dining experience with a tasting plate of five locally produced dishes inspired by the five Emirates destinations.

Developed by Wolgan Valley One&Only, Executive Chef Nancy Kinchella, who earned a Michelin star during her time in London, the tasting plate will include dishes such as Adelaide inspired Citrus cured South Australian kingfish, finger lime pearls and salmon caviar and Melbourne inspired dish featuring Victorian Lamb loin with sheep’s yoghurt and cumin scented jus.

Locally sourced ingredients will also feed their way into the grazing dishes served throughout the day including Sydney Balmain Bug and crab ravioli and Roasted barramundi fillet from north of Brisbane, and a spectacular Marine Life seafood spread which will celebrate our Island’s waters.

There will also be some surprising and unexpected Australian ingredients served in the marquee with pies and milo making an appearance as well as a cocktail list including The Ned and The Splice – a twist on the iconic Australian ice cream!

And to pay homage to our Australian culture, guests can also celebrate the Emirates Melbourne Cup with a traditional Aussie BBQ on the outdoor terrace.


Emirates’ famous salon will again be offering guests hair-styling and make-up touches throughout the four race days across the Carnival. ‘The Parlour’ will house two hair stylists from the expert team at Melbourne’s Joey Scandizzo Salon and Lara Srokowski, the National Make-up Director for Lancôme and her team of expert make-up artists will host two beauty stations – one for skin touch-ups, and a Bright lip station, showcasing lip art and the red lip look. 

Also making a return will be the only fully equipped flushing toilets in The Birdcage, ensuring all Emirates’ guests are well catered for throughout the Carnival.


A much-anticipated feature of the Emirates marquee, this year’s entertainment will pay tribute to Australia’s heritage and indigenous culture with a contemporary dance performance in collaboration with Stan Yarramunua – well-known Aboriginal artist and didgeridoo player who has commissioned work for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bono, AC/DC and Snoop Dogg.

Year on year, Emirates looks forward to welcoming its Skywards members and VIP guests to the Emirates Marquee and to bring the first class hospitality that is offered 35,000ft in the sky across its extensive global network of 154 destinations and 82 countries and territories worldwide – to The Birdcage.

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