With exactly 100 days to go before Abu Dhabi hosts the spectacular Volvo Ocean Race
yachting fleet and its thousands of fans this New Year, construction
infrastructure has been completed on the Abu Dhabi Corniche ‘Destination
Village’ where a fortnight of activities will celebrate the hosting.
The result of more than 61,000 man hours, the
site – as big as eight football pitches - will be the focal point for
the UAE capital as it welcomes the procession of awe-inspiring racing
yachts, sea hardened sailors and more than 100,000 fans for the third
leg stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race – the ‘Everest of Sailing’. It will
open free of charge to the public from December 31st 2011– 14th January 2012.
Adjacent to the Heritage Village, the Destination Village, which overlooks Abu Dhabi’s
impressive city skyline, was cleared and flattened before a staggering
873,000 paving stones were laid over almost half its area. Seven
permanent yacht pontoons have also been installed. Weighing 55 tonnes
each, and covering a 560m² area off the breakwater, they will house the
teams’ state-of-the-art Volvo Open 70 race yachts whilst in Abu Dhabi.
Installation took two-and-half
weeks with a 500 tonne crane lifting the concrete structures into
position, before they were individually fixed into place. The revolutionary
design of the pontoons will give spectators up-close access to the
Volvo Ocean Race fleet, further enhancing the entire experience.
The unit is now a fixed working facility ready for the arrival of the Volvo Open 70s and is
a key component of the site, which will serve a permanent sailing
centre once the Volvo Ocean Race fleet sails out of the UAE capital in
mid-January to Sanya, China.
packages for the emirate’s New Year hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race
2011/12 are currently developed, to cater to international travellers looking to take advantage
of the UAE capital’s fully-packed January events and attraction
portfolio. Full details will be released in the coming weeks.
The packages are being developed around key hosting milestones, including:
- Destination Village Opens: 31 Dec 2011 - 14 Jan 2012
- New Year Countdown Concert: 31 Dec 2011
- Arrival of Volvo Ocean Race yachts: 31 Dec 2011 - 3 Jan 2012 (approx)
- Pro-Am Race: 12 Jan 2012
- In-Port Race and Send-Off Concert: 13 Jan 2012
- Race Re-start: 14 Jan 2012
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12 begins in Alicante, Spain, in October 2011 and ends in Galway, Ireland
in summer next year. It is a 39,000 nautical mile, nine-month round the
world sailing race, taking in 10 destinations over nine grueling legs.
With teams vying for top honours, the race will cover some of the most
treacherous and remote seas on the planet. The seven teams competing in
the 2011/12 race are: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Groupama Sailing
Team (FR), PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion (USA), Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ), Team Telefónica (ESP), Team Sanya (CHN) and a final Spanish outfit to be confirmed.
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort – the iconic luxurious brand’s first Middle East property in Abu Dhabi opening on November 1st, 2011 – is the Volvo Ocean Race Official Hotel in the emirate.