SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
VNR - Abu Dhabi's Volvo Ocean Race Village Opens Tomorrow - VIPs' visit
The 35,000 square metre, waterfront, village will be the hub of three weeks of sports, entertainment and leisure as part of the UAE capital's stopover hosting of the hardy Volvo Ocean Race fleet, which is expected* to arrive from the 5,200 nautical-mile Leg 2 from Cape Town (South Africa) on Saturday December 13. The village is 30% bigger than in 2011/2012 when Abu Dhabi last hosted the Volvo Ocean Race.
Ahead of the tour, HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon, Chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi and Department of Transport, Government of Abu Dhabi said he expected the UAE capital to be the "stand-out" stopover of the race, which will visit nine stopover destinations on its epic, round-the-world challenge which began in Alicante, Spain and ends in Gothenburg, Sweden next June.
"This is a destination in its own right for our residents and the many visitors we expect in Abu Dhabi over the coming weeks and New Year," said Sheikh Sultan. "It is active, engaging, entertaining and provides something for all nationalities and age groups.
"Naturally it is compelling destination for sailing and watersports fans yet has many aspects that will appeal to those who have never ventured out into the ocean. The village has been created with the support of many key stakeholders who should be congratulated on their efforts. Yet again, Abu Dhabi has shown how coming together as one delivers excellence of product and I believe visitor feedback will bear out this sentiment.
"The village is also a headline promotion of our centuries-old maritime heritage with many activities celebrating our sea-going past and showing how Abu Dhabi was, and remains, at one with the sea."
Today's VIP tour was led by Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad and attended by: Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi; Majid Al Muhairi, CEO Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club; Salem Al Romaithi, CEO, Abu Dhabi International Marina Sports Club; Omar Kaddoura, President & CEO, Rotana Group, the stopover hospitality sponsor, Abdulkareem M. Al Masabi, Vice President – Port Operations, Abu Dhabi Ports Company; Major Ali Al Suwaidi, President, Emirates Marine Environmental Group and Faisal Al Sheikh, Director, Events Bureau, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Sailing fans from around the world, race sponsors and families of the seven teams contesting the gruelling, 38,739 nautical mile challenge are expected to descend on Abu Dhabi over the coming weeks delivering a year-end boost to the UAE capital's tourism industry.
Abu Dhabi Village Opening: December 12, 2014Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA*): December 13, 2014In-Port Race: January 2, 2015Leg start: January 3, 2015