Abu Dhabi is to construct a new sailing village to boost the Emirate’s appeal to watersports fans, the country’s tourism authorities announced June 13.
The new “Destination Village” will be completed in time for the abu dhabi Volvo Ocean Race’s stop in the Emirate, which is currently scheduled for January 1, 2012.
While the Volvo Ocean Race is in town, the 55,000 square meter village will be the home of the flotilla and a place for members of the public to visit and see the yachts, which will be taking a break on the third stop of their round-the-world competition.
During the two-week stopover, tourism authorities plans to host concerts, in-port races, receptions and evening events, as well as behind-the-scenes tours of Abu Dhabi’s own entry to the race, the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) team yacht.
Tourism authorities believe that the ambitious project will have a longer-term significance and could help boost the Emirate’s appeal as a sporting destination.
“The sea is in our blood and we want to encourage residents, nationals and expatriates alike, to get out onto the water,” explained Mubarak Al Muhairi, the director general of Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Authority.
“This will ensure that our hosting leaves a lasting legacy for the emirate and will also boost our long-term ambitions to be recognized as a compelling winter sailing and watersports destination.”
To construct the village, contractors will soon begin dredging the Corniche breakwater, which is overlooked by the Emirate’s impressive skyline, to make it deep enough for the 4.5 meter-keeled yachts to enter safely.
Abu Dhabi isn’t the only destination looking to capitalize on its inclusion in one of the world’s toughest maritime events.
The Chinese city of Sanya in Hainan province will host the teams directly after Abu Dhabi and is also hoping to use the spotlight to showcase its attraction as an international tourist destination.
Other stops for the race, which begins October 29, include Alicante, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland; Itajaí, Brazil; Miami, Florida; Lisbon; Lorient, France and Galway, Ireland.