Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) has reached an agreement with the Asian Sailing Federation and the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation to host multiple global sailing events for Olympic Sailing and Youth Development in the Emirate.
Through a partnership with ADSC and Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, key events will be hosted over the next four years to further progress the development of sailing in the UAE.
With this agreement, all parties hope to bring the best sailors in the world together in Abu Dhabi for competition in high-standard events as well as conferences, development symposiums, clinics and training opportunities.
“Abu Dhabi is a central destination ideally suited to bring together the best sailors in the world; it has all the required hospitality and logistic infrastructure and our extensive experience with hosting major sporting events means we are in a position to meet the needs of all athletes.” Said HE Aref al Awani, general secretary of ADSC.
“We aim to position Abu Dhabi as a major sports hub for training, clinics and competition allowing for the transfer of knowledge between countries, coaches and officials as well as the measurement of skills between athletes.”
Annually, Abu Dhabi will host a variety of regional, continental and global events starting in November 2019 with the 49er Asian Championships. This event will be followed in March 2020 with the Asian Qualifier for 49er, Laser and RS:X, where teams can secure their entry to the Olympic Games in Japan.
Dr Malav Shroff, President of the Asian Sailing Federation, emphasised on pursuing on dozens of programs related to overall development of the sport.
“This long-term agreement will allow us to bring high profile sailing events to Abu Dhabi, organise technical courses for coaches and instructors, and host development symposiums,” he said.
“Hosting these programs in Abu Dhabi will open up a hub for a large group of sailors allowing for participation from Asia, Africa, Europe and the wider world.”
This new initiative coincides with the announcement that Abu Dhabi will host the 2020 annual conference of World Sailing; the international governing body of the sport.
The conference will welcome representatives of over 100 countries to the city to exchange knowledge and determine the global direction of the sport.
HH Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed al Nahyan, president of the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation, said; “By welcoming World Sailing delegates to the UAE, we hope to showcase the nearly limitless possibilities of hosting events here, such as the very successful Special Olympics in 2019.
“We are also keen to welcome Federations from around the world to develop new opportunities and partnerships that will further the sport in the UAE.”
All parties are focussed on the future and fully support grassroots sailing as part of the agreement, reaching a wider community and attracting more young sailors into the sport. By hosting a round of the ASAF Youth Cup, a series of youth development events hosted throughout Asia, all parties hope to further encourage Asia’s brightest young talent.
The UAE round of the series will be hosted in Al Mirfa, in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi a key development area for Mr Majed Ateeq Al Mehairi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club.
“With the support of the Abu Dhabi Government, we are keen to further develop sport in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; we are pleased to announce that we are in the process of opening a new sailing centre in Al Mirfa and have already started fruitful delivery of our training programs there,” he said.
“Over the last few years Abu Dhabi has been working towards the development of youth sailors in an Olympic Sailing and Development Program.
“We are delighted to see our sailors performing well around the world. We are confident that this new initiative and partnership will benefit young Emiratis seeking to represent the UAE in the Olympic Games.”