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Sir Bani Yas to host offshore sailing race

posted on 14/04/2015: 1439 views

The second Sir Bani Yas Offshore Race in Abu Dhabi's Western Region, will be held from April 18th – 19th, the Tourism Development and Investment Company, TDIC, announced yesterday.

Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, the race, organised by the TDIC in partnership with Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, DOSC, will bring together sailing enthusiasts from sailing clubs across the whole of the UAE in a non-stop race from Sir Bani Yas Island, the award winning nature and wildlife reserve, to Dubai.

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, said, "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 and 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 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.

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 UAE, 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. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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