15 Dec 2014

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 15 December 2014 -  Abu Dhabi will be alive with the vibrant sights, sounds and flavours of Spain on 18thDecember, when the UAE capital’s Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) Stopover dedicates the entire day to the country with strong ties to the epic, round-the-world sailing race.


The competing yacht fleet is currently racing for Abu Dhabi’s Leg 2 finish line, with the emirate’s own entrant, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR), going head-to-head with the other yachts, including Spain’s entrant MAPFRE.


ADOR definitely had ‘home’ support cheering them on as the yachts reached their home port on Saturday, 13th December as part of the end of Leg 2, but MAPFRE also has an added incentive to reach Abu Dhabi swiftly, with a festival of Spanish delights ready to welcome them to the purpose-built Destination Village on the city’s stunning Corniche Breakwater.


“The Spanish in Abu Dhabi have two great reasons to come down to the Destination Village,” said Ambassador of Spain to the UAE, HE José Eugenio Salarich. “We have a great team to cheer over the finish line and a whole day set to celebrate the many cultural wonders our country has to offer.


“Spain has an extremely strong association with the Volvo Ocean Race. It is the home of the VOR Global Headquarters, the start line of the VOR itself in Alicante, and we also have Team Mapfre in contention.




“But we also want to showcase the true flavour of Spain to everyone that comes down to the Destination Village, so on December 19th the shoreline will come alive with Spanish food, music, dancing, sporting displays and so much more! There will also be the chance to win tickets to see a Real Madrid match in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium!”


The ‘Spain in Abu Dhabi Day will have something for everyone, covering the country’s rich history in the sporting, gastronomic and cultural arenas.


“There will be Spanish food available all day, brought to visitors and fans by prestigious Spanish chefs, with several cooking demonstrations where the chefs will teach visitors how real Spanish dishes are made,” explained Bernardo José Caballero de Olmedo, Advisor to the Director General of Tourspain. “We’ll also have a fabulous Flamenco show on the unique Skyline Stage which juts out into the Corniche waters and where the most passionate of dances will be performed by dancers of El Corral de la Morería – one of our most famous flamenco troupes.”


The official Spanish football academy is also staging a competition with football shirts, footballs and more to be won while the Spanish Basketball Federation will give fans the chance to play one-on-one games, with T-shirts and other prizes for winners.


“And there’ll be more...” added Caballero. “There will be a flashmob, a giant poem in which we´ll encourage people to join in, museum activities and also Spanish good to buy.


“There will be a ‘Discover Spain’ display, with a giant interactive map, where visitors will find many surprises if they bring along their Smartphones.


“It’s thrilling to be able to celebrate Spain in Abu Dhabi, an event where families will have fun as well as get to know why Spain is a great country to visit. Food, sports, culture… everything on December 18th will be ready to give visitors a real Spanish day in Abu Dhabi and prepare them to visit our country when Etihad Airways begins flights to Madrid next year.”


The stopover is currently taking place in the VOR Destination Village from 12th December to 3rd January, with three weeks packed with sailing, watersports, entertainment and culture highlighting Abu Dhabi’s union with the sea and its maritime heritage. Al large number of people are expected to visit to the Village.


For more information about Abu Dhabi’s 2014/15 VOR Stopover please go to or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages at and @ADORlog

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