Abu Dhabi, 4/14/2015 12:00:00 AM - Abu Dhabi, April 13, 2015 – Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) announced today that Sir Bani Yas island will host the second Sir Bani Yas Offshore Race in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, which will take place from April 18 – 19, 2015. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, the race, organised in partnership with Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) will bring together sailing enthusiasts from sailing clubs across the whole of the United Arab Emirates in a non-stop race from Sir Bani Yas Island, the award winning nature and wildlife reserve, to Dubai.
Ahead of the race, sailors will travel directly to Sir Bani Yas where they will berth and prepare for the main race, which will take place on April 18. Sailors who arrive prior to the race will enjoy the island’s various offerings by staying at any of the island's three celebrated resorts, managed by Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas. During their stay on Sir Bani Yas, participants will be able to enjoy the island’s diverse nature-based activities, including a nature and wildlife Drive, nature walks, horseback riding, land sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, a falconry demonstration, and more.
Ahmed Al Fahim, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, Sales and Leasing at TDIC, said: “We are pleased to once again welcome sailors to this thrilling event, which saw great interest and success when it was first launched last year. This year, we’ve opened up participation to sailing clubs throughout the UAE. The events’ recurrence shows that Sir Bani Yas is a viable location for such sporting events, and a destination that is capable of welcoming boating travellers to the island.”
The Sir Bani Yas Offshore Race will pit sailors’ skills and experience against each other as well as the sea as they race to the finish line at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club – 175 nautical miles away. Setting out from Sir Bani Yas Island, the sailors will be taking on one of the oldest trading routes in the region, before the winners are crowned at a prize-giving ceremony in Dubai.
James Harris, Sailing Manager at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club: “We’re happy to partner with Sir Bani Yas for this exciting event for the second year. We would like to thank TDIC and Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas for their support and for supporting the growth of the sailing community in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Not only have several of last year’s participants signed up once again, we’ve also received interest from new sailors. Given the growing interest for the event, we believe it has a bright future as one of the most looked forward to sailing event in the UAE.”
The race, which kicks off on April 18, 2015, will once again highlight the island’s appeal as a boating destination while also playing homage to the island's rich history and its strong maritime heritage. Even as the island has expanded to accommodate new hospitality developments, certain areas remain untouched among the general landscape of the island especially that Sir Bani Yas has been inhabited for over 7,500 years, and is home to more than 36 archaeological sites that have been found on the island including a 600 AD monastery and the wharf which is an important connecting point for the island.
David Worrell, a sailor and one of the winners from last year’s event said: “I sailed the Sir Bani Yas-Dubai route last year and I am very excited that I am about doing it again this year. Last year, the event allowed us to challenge our sailing skills, something we’re excited about conquering once again this April. It’s an opportunity to be on the beautiful Sir Bani Yas island, sail into the open sea and possibly win. As a sailor, it’s something I can’t but look forward to year on year.”
An 87-square kilometre island located off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas has a rich history as a destination for sailors to trade or replenish their supplies. It was developed into a wildlife reserve by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Today, as a result of dedicated environmental and conservation efforts, over 10,000 animals and birds call the island home. The free-roaming wildlife, which includes oryx, gazelles, deer, ostriches, giraffes and cheetahs, can be found in the 4,100 hectare Arabian Wildlife Park - a popular attraction on the island. Guests interested in visiting or staying on Sir Bani Yas can enjoy short direct flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai or can avail of boat transfers from Jebel Dhanna in the Western Region.
For more information about registering for the event, please visit: www.dosc.ae.
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