Abu Dhabi keen to host ISAF Annual Conference 2016

WAM ABU DHABI, 25th November, 2013 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi has begun talks with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), with a view to hosting the Federation’s annual conference in three years’ time.

Talks surrounding Abu Dhabi’s proposal, which are said to have met with a positive response, were held at the recent ISAF annual conference in Muscat, Oman.

ISAF, is the world governing body for the sport of sailing, which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

Abu Dhabi is looking to host the ISAF’s Presidential Election meeting in 2016, which will give the destination a platform from which to introduce its expanding sailing credentials to the key decision makers in the sport, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Abu Dhabi has been making waves on the international sailing front having successfully hosted a stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in December 2011/January 2012 and being the first Arab destination to contest the round-the-world expedition with its Azzam ocean racing yacht and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) team. During the last Volvo Ocean Race, ADOR Emirati crew member Adil Khalid became the first Arab to circumnavigate the globe in the gruelling, nine-month event.

The emirate’s international sailing profile will further rise with ADOR’s second bid for Volvo Ocean Race glory in the 2014/2015 event and its second hosting of the fleet in December 2014/January 2015. Abu Dhabi is pulling out all the stops for its second fleet hosting with visitor packages already in the market and an early start to entertainment plans for its purpose-built Destination Village on Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Abu Dhabi’s hosting plans were presented in Muscat to ISAF’s more than 170 international delegates, which included chairs of participating national federations, national sports associations and sailing teams, international sponsors and media. The presentation was held in co-ordination with Abu Dhabi Sailing ‘&’ Yacht Club and Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Thani Al Romaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, pledged his organisation’s full support for the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Racing hosting and the 2016 ISAF Conference pitch.

“We are acutely aware that maritime sports attractions are an indispensable component of a waterfront tourism offering,” he said. “We are working as a club to enhance this offering and look forward to being able to demonstrate these to an international audience during the VOR hosting and, hopefully, to ISAF members during their 2016 conference.” WAM/AM

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