Abu Dhabi gears up for fleet’s arrival

The Volvo Ocean Race will make a stopover in Abu Dhabi, arriving from Cape Town on Saturday. The village will be open until January 3.
Abboud Nasser Awadi rehearsing fly board for the opening of the Volvo Ocean Race village in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Abboud Nasser Awadi rehearsing fly board for the opening of the Volvo Ocean Race village in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // The Volvo Ocean Race Abu Dhabi Destination Village, on the Corniche Breakwater, opens on Friday with exhibits and activities for race fans.

Visitors during the fleet’s stopover can also enjoy concerts and displays, such as flyboard demonstrations by Abboud Alawadi, a 20-year-old Emirati. The 35,000-square metre waterfront village will be the centre of three weeks of sports, entertainment and leisure.

The first yachts in the fleet are expected to arrive on their 6,125-nautical mile second leg from Cape Town tomorrow.

This year’s Destination Village is 30 per cent larger than during the 2011-2012 race, when Abu Dhabi last hosted a stopover.

“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 bin Tahnoon, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA).

“It is active, engaging, entertaining, and provides something for all nationalities and age groups.”

The village features 22 exhibition pavilions, including five international pavilions from China, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and Britain.

Just inside the entrance, he TCA will host several booths featuring heritage, desert adventures and the 3D-game providers Pixel Hunters.

The gaming booth will offer visitors a chance to win a weekend break in the UAE’s capital by playing a virtual game called Cloud Biking. It requires participants to ride to 12 attractions in less than 90 seconds. There is also an iPad quiz available.

The village has six distinctive, interactive zones covering culture and heritage, adventure, family, exhibitions, race teams, and the environment.

The Etihad Modern Art Gallery will exhibit the works of the Greek artist Dimitris Kretsis, famed for his large-scale public art compositions.

There will also be plenty of children’s activities in the village, including a climbing wall, a pump track for skaters and bikers, and watersports.

The village opens from noon to 9pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 11am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, until January 3, when the fleet will leave on its third leg of the race, to Sanya, China. Entry is free.

ealdhaheri@thenational.ae

Published: December 11, 2014 04:00 AM

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