Volvo Ocean Race to Return to Abu Dhabi in 2014

February 18, 2013

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), find which brought the ‘Everest of Sailing’ to the Arabian Gulf for the first time in 2012 has revealed the stopover will return to Abu Dhabi in 2014.

“Our involvement with the Volvo Ocean Race captured the imagination of our people, who have strong maritime heritage links,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi made waves on the global sailing scene with its hosting of the world’s premier offshore sailing race in January 2012. The event galvanised the emirate’s watersports industry with a wealth of sailing centres, yacht charter companies and state-of-the-art marina facilities coming online over the last 12 months, with more expected.

TCA Abu Dhabi believes the return of the ‘Everest of Sailing’ and its Emirati development programme, which saw Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s UAE national crew member Adil Khalid become the first Arab to competitively circumnavigate the world, will re-energise the emirate’s credentials as a world-class watersports destination.

“This second campaign will further galvanise the emirate’s grass-roots sailing development and again give us a global platform on which to promote our deep-rooted maritime heritage,” added Sheikh Sultan.

Abu Dhabi’s 2014 stopover will once again be focused on the purpose built Destination Village – the size of eight football pitches – on the city’s stunning Corniche breakwater.

“Abu Dhabi staged a truly original and massively appealing stopover during the last edition, with its own unique feel, and its return to the campaign will strengthen the legacy of the race in the city and the country,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

“I’m sure Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will be among the challengers for overall honours this time. This announcement marks the beginning of another chapter for sailing in the United Arab Emirates.”

Abu Dhabi will welcome the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Leg 2 from Recife, Brazil, after it departs from its starting port of Alicante, Spain. Leg 2 is expected to take a month to sail.