15 June 2008

Yachting and marina facilities are set to boost Abu Dhabi’s global marketing platform and attract even more visitors and investors, it is claimed.

The inaugural Abu Dhabi Yacht Show in March 2009 and the construction of various waterside developments that include marinas will put it firmly on the yachting and cruising map, according to the tourism authority.

“Abu Dhabi has a strong maritime heritage and unrivalled opportunities for marine leisure with over 200 islands off its mainland shores,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

“We aim to develop and promote our coastal attractions. Our cultural and geographic strengths are now being enhanced by an increasing number of world-class marinas being planned by developers throughout the Emirate. This is the right initiative and the right time and will help position Abu Dhabi as an international yachting destination,” he added.

He predicted that holiday home owners will benefit as demand for rental accommodation will go up.

“The Abu Dhabi Yacht Show will attract super yachts to the region,” said Andy Treadwell, Joint Managing Director of Informa Yacht Group which is organising the event.

Marine leisure is the latest in a string of world-class sporting initiatives in Abu Dhabi. It is already heavily involved in the World Rally Championship with its BP-Ford Team and plans to stage a Formula One Race in 2009. There is also the annual Red Bull Air Race, the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge endurance race and its recent successful bid to host the 2009/2010 FIFA Club World Cup.

According to Peter Young of Sandcastles-Property.com, Abu Dhabi is currently its fastest-growing region for property investment in the United Arab Emirates.