Abu Dhabi, First Middle East Stop for Volvo Ocean Race
"This event will take Abu Dhabi's marine leisure proposition to the world and will enable us to demonstrate, first hand, our powerful credentials to a highly influential professional yachting audience," said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
"Via the expansive international media coverage the race enjoys, Abu Dhabi's name will ride high on another world-class sporting wave," he added.
Additionally, a racing team from Abu Dhabi will also take its place on the start line of the race in Alicante, Spain in the autumn of next year. The team will compete in a newly designed boat, which will be built in the UAE capital by the Abu Dhabi Mar Group.
"It is our ambition to include a UAE national in the crew who will be our ocean ambassador representing the emirate's long seafaring heritage," said Al Muhairi, ADTA's Director General. "The locally-constructed boat will also signal our potential as a new build and repair port, which will recall the heady days when vessels made on these shores set sail for months of pearling expeditions and proved to be among the sturdiest afloat."