With a legacy rich in maritime activities and sailing, it’s no surprise that Abu Dhabi has one of the most supreme selection of yachts, yachting activities and racing. Home to the international Volvo Ocean Race, winning this prestigious event is coveted by the best around the world.
The race covers over 6,000 nautical miles, putting boats and their crews to the test, in many extreme conditions. Crews stopover at cities on the way, where giant fanfares and festival-like atmospheres greet them and the many thousands of spectators who come to wave them in. Abu Dhabi puts on a spectacular show, including exhibitions from Dragon Boats, the BBC’s ‘Blue Planet’, and many musical numbers.
If the race inspires you to take it up yourself, where better to try it than Abu Dhabi? The Royal Yacht Association (RYA) rents out boats and offers courses and lessons for visitors, as well as putting on events throughout the sailing season. These local, national and international events are glamorous and entertaining, and definitely worth visiting for. You can also have a go at sailing through the Hilton Abu Dhabi, thanks to its Hiltonia Beach Club. Certified instructors and links to the RYA means you can safely experiment with a number of styles and boats until you’re confident on the water. The centre offers a variety of dinghy sailing and catamaran sailing.