Volvo Ocean Race destination village to transform Abu Dhabi

A model of the Destination Village for the Volvo Ocean Race went on display earlier this month in the UK.

ABU DHABI // The Volvo Ocean Race will leave a lasting legacy in the capital, according to organisers.

A model of the event's Destination Village, where the seven yachts arrive on New Year's Eve during the race around the world, was on display in the UK this month.

"It's fantastic and the coolest thing is that it will leave a superb sailing legacy on land in the heart of Abu Dhabi," said Knut Frostad, the race's chief executive.

The two-week stopover will include concerts, a welcoming ceremony for the arrival of the first yacht and in-port and pro-am races next to the village, which is under construction next to Marina Mall. More than 100,000 people are expected to visit the village, which will be the size of eight football pitches.

Mr Frostad said the Abu Dhabi skyline will add to the backdrop of the race.

"It is shaping up to be one of the most efficient stop-over locations. From the Corniche, the sight of the race village with the boats lit up on the water at night will make for a very stimulating picture."

The race begins in Alicante, Spain, in October. There will be nine additional ports, including Abu Dhabi, and the race will finish in Galway, Ireland.

The Destination Village model will go on display in the capital soon, according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

Abu Dhabi's entry, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, will be skippered by the Olympic double-medal winner, Ian Walker, and the UAE Olympian Adil Khalid.

The village will be open from December 30 until January 14.

eharnan@thenational.ae

Published: August 24, 2011 04:00 AM

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