Ministry backs Team Muscat at Sailing Arabia
Muscat, February 12, 2012
Oman’s Ministry of Tourism is the official sponsor of Team Muscat 2012 in the 2nd Sailing Arabia, the tour sailing regatta kicking off today.
The sponsorship forms part of promotional activities related to Muscat’s selection as the Arab Capital for Tourism in 2012, said a statement from the ministry.
The tour was established in 2011 by Oman Sail to inspire young Omanis to take up sailing as both a recreational and a competitive sport. It is a regional alternative to the renowned Tour de France à la Voile, one of the world’s top offshore sailing events.
Of the nine participating teams, four are from Oman and the others are from France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, the statement said.
Only Farr 30 class racing yachts, the same vessel type as the French tour, can compete, it said.
The opening ceremony was held today at Bahrain’s Amwaj Marina. Races will be held in The Pearl in Qatar on February 14, Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club on February 18, Al Hamra Marina Yacht Club in UAE on February 21, and Zighy Marina in Oman on February 24.
The Ministry will host media roundtables to be held a day before the departure of the boats to each race destination, and the awards ceremony will be held on February 27 at Mussanah Marina, Oman’s newest marina located 85km northwest of Muscat.
Khalid Al Zadjali, head of overseas promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism, said: “We are not just sponsoring a boat, we are honoring Oman’s rich maritime heritage which traces back to as early as the Bronze Age, when we were already considered a major seafaring nation. The regatta will bolster the development of professional sailing in the Arabian Peninsula and will also show to the world Oman’s maritime attractions and capabilities.”
“Moreover, it complements our plans to showcase Muscat’s various leisure, sports, and travel and adventure attractions this year as Arab Tourism Capital 2012,” he said.
The Ministry plans to build five additional marinas starting in 2020 to provide more support for local yachting activities. For its part, Oman Sail aims to train a future Olympic sailing team. – TradeArabia News Service