Huge Corniche Breakwater Facility To Come Alive With All-Day Entertainment  


The vast, purpose-built Destination Village commissioned by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) for the two-week historic hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, opens, free-of-charge to the general public, on Saturday morning.  

The village, at the Abu Dhabi Corniche Breakwater, will come alive with a raft of spellbinding entertainment designed to engage residents and visitors alike and connect all with the emirate’s maritime past and future ambitions.  

“The entertainment programme is dotted with activities which are educational as well as entertaining and people will leave knowing far more about Abu Dhabi’s maritime and watersports credentials than they did before,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, ADTA.  

“When we began our Volvo Ocean Race hosting campaign we promised a stand-out stopover and we believe we have fulfilled that commitment. This is not just for sailors or would-be sailors but for families who want to get out into the fresh air and have fun alongside thousands of others. There will, however, be opportunities for all to try their hand at sailing and to find out more about this great sport. The atmosphere will be electric and the best news yet is that all the entertainment is free!”  

Opening from 11am until 11pm on Saturday, December 31, village-goers will be greeted at the entrance by an intriguing display of dhow building, which gives an insight into the making of these traditional working boats. They will then meander through the Souk Al Mamsha to sample and buy traditional crafts and keepsakes.  

They can stop at the Azzam story and discover the tale behind the making of the impressive Volvo 70 yacht which Abu Dhabi commissioned to contest the race with its Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, leaving to try their hand at an unusual ‘Hole in One Challenge’ where they can get into the swing of the celebrations and scoop mega holiday prizes.  

Run by the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - the European Tour season opening event taking place in the UAE capital from 26th to -29th January 2012 – the challenge will give would-be golfers a chance to show off their short game skills with a testing chip onto a floating green 60 feet away. Those who make the ‘ace’ shot during the fortnight-long hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race, which runs until 14th January, will go into a weekly draw to win a holiday of a life-time to join the race fleet in either Sanya, China or Galway, Ireland – which will welcome the ‘Everest of Sailing’ in February and July 2012 respectively.  

Up for grabs are two grand prizes, which include two economy return tickets to either stopover on Etihad Airways, the UAE’s award-winning national airline; four nights luxury bed and breakfast accommodation; limousine airport transfers as well as on and off water hospitality to enjoy all the Volvo Ocean Race action.  

In addition, everyone taking part will get a free season ticket to enjoy the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which boasts a stellar field including three current Major winners as well as four current and previous world number ones, including UAE capital debutant Tiger Woods. There are also extra chances to win cool championship clothing and signed merchandise from many world-class golfers.  

International entertainers abound at the village with Saturday bringing visitors up close to Pearl Diving Living Statues, the ‘Gentleman of Magic’ and his repertoire of no less than 500 tricks, Tanura and fire dancers and a ‘Dynamic Art’ display. Early evening visitors can join in a ‘Rise At Sunset Pre-Party’ at the PUMA Social Club and later, many thousands of paid-for ticket holders are expected at the nearby concert venue to hear award-winning UK rock bank Coldplay bring in the New Year and see a fabulous fireworks display.  

“There are lots of restaurants and cafes at the village for people to relax and enjoy so with all that’s on offer, this is going to be a great way to celebrate one year ending and another getting off to a great start,” added Al Sheikh.