Abu Dhabi Race Village is CLOSED
Visit the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and stopover website, www.volvooceanraceabudhabi.com, and for full information about Abu Dhabi and the Emirates, go to www.visitabudhabi.ae.
Abu Dhabi Race Weekend
- Thursday January 12, 1200 (0800 UTC) - Pro-Am Race (see course map here)
- Friday January 13, 1400 (1000 UTC) - Etihad Airways In-Port Race (see course map here)
- Saturday January 14, 1400 (1000 UTC) - Leg 3 start to Sanya (see course map here)
- December 31 - Race Village Opens
- January 2-11 - Try Sailing
- January 4-5 - ETA of the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet
- January 5-7 - Academy Team Racing Clinic
- January 5-7 - ISAF Umpire Clinic
- January 7 - Beach Clean
- January 8 - Keep the Oceans Clean ! Art Workshop
- January 8-10 - Try Sailing
- January 9 - Skeleton Sea Q&A
- January 12 - Pro-Am Race
- January 13 - In-Port Race
- January 14 - Leg 3 Start to Sanya
- January 14 - Keep the Oceans Clean ! Art Workshop
Find out more about the Volvo Ocean Race Academy, Keep the Ocean's Clean ! and see the full calendar of events at the Abu Dhabi stopover here.
Seven-time Grammy award-winning super band Coldplay will rock in the New Year in Abu Dhabi with a spectacular sell out concert on the opening night of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover on the city’s Corniche breakwater.
Forming the centrepiece of the race’s two-weeks in Abu Dhabi, the Destination Village will be officially opened on New Year’s Eve by His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, His Excellency Ahmed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club and Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The village will be free of charge every day and is expected to welcome as many as 100,000 visitors through its gates during the stopover from December 31 to January 14.
Themed around Abu Dhabi’s maritime heritage, the village is packed with exhibitions, shows, simulators, hospitality, game zones, food and beverage outlets and merchandise shops.
The Abu Dhabi stopover marks the first visit to the United Arab Emirates in the Volvo Ocean Race’s 38-year history and a key attraction in the village will be the presence of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew, led by British double Olympic medallist Ian Walker and including the first ever UAE national to compete in the race, Adil Khalid.
Situated in the heart of the village, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team’s shore base features see-through walls and a sail loft open to the public. The team’s training yacht is also open to the public to enable them to see the inner workings and the testing conditions of life on board a Volvo Open 70.
A full programme of events during the fortnight long stopover includes, the Volvo Ocean Race Academy team racing clinic and regatta, beach cleans and workshops as part of the race’s Keep the Oceans Clean initiative, and two spectacular local Dhow racing regattas.
Visitors can also get up close and personal to the fleet of Volvo Open 70 racing yachts when they arrive in Abu Dhabi at the end of the race’s 5,430 nautical mile Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa.
The end of the stopover sees the Volvo Ocean Race fleet return to competitive action with three days of racing featuring Pro-Am races on January 12, an in-port race on January 13, and culminates with the start of the 4,600 nautical mile third leg to Sanya, China on December 14.
Around Abu Dhabi
With over 200 natural islands, more than 400 kilometres of pristine coastline, tranquil oases, modern cityscapes, rocky, mountain-like heights, and awe-inspiring deserts, Abu Dhabi offers a diversity of visitor experiences. It is also preserving and leveraging its rich cultural heritage so that visitors can share in a centuries-old history and its many traditions, many of which continue today.
Abu Dhabi city bursts with dazzling business-leisure facilities ranging from a state-of-the-art convention centre, luxurious hotels, spas, designer golf courses and very soon, some of the world’s most famous museums. The emirate’s malls and traditional souks (markets) make for a great shopping expedition, offering the best handicrafts from local traditions to the best international high street fashion brands.
Gastronomic treats further abound from cool and sophisticated cafes, clubs and restaurants. For the fitness conscious, jogging and cycling are a welcome treat especially during the cooler months along Abu Dhabi city’s charming Corniche merely minutes away from the bustling city centre.
Abu Dhabi has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Sunny blue skies and high temperatures can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is sporadic, falling mainly in winter (November to March) and averaging 12cms per year in most of the emirate. Rain is more common in the ‘Oasis City' of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi’s eastern region.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Take a complimentary guided tour of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This majestic mosque is arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society. It can house more than 40,000 worshippers, many of whom kneel to pray on the world’s largest hand-made carpet, which measures 5,627 square metros. Find out more at www.visitabudhabi.ae or contact email@example.com.
Saadiyat Cultural District Exhibition
Visit the Cultural District exhibition of Saadiyat Island at the opulent Emirates Palace hotel. It is free to enter and open daily. It charts plans for the renowned Cultural District of Saadiyat Island, which is being transformed into a signature leisure, residential and cultural destination. Visitors can see models of the major cultural institutions planned including the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a maritime museum and performing arts centre. Each has been designed by a Pritzker prize-winner: Lord Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and Zaha Hadid respectively. Visit the Exhibition website at www.tdic.ae.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
It’s fast and furious fun for all ages at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – the world’s first Ferrari theme park and the largest attraction of its kind. Telling the Ferrari story with passion and excitement through more than 20 exhilarating and educational rides and attractions, interactive shopping and authentic Italian dining experiences this park is for fans and families. Beneath its huge, iconic red roof attractions include Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 240 km/h. For more information, go to www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com.
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Guided tours of this award-winning specialist hospital, the most advanced of its kind in the world, are available. You can visit the luxurious wards where the birds are kept, explore the museum, which gives an insight into the noble desert sport of falconry, or try your hand at the pursuit in the hospital’s lush gardens. Visit the website www.falconhospital.com.
Yas Marina Circuit
The state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit is home to the annual F1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Forming the centrepiece of Yas Marina Circuit is The Yas Hotel, a five-star, signature hotel – the only one in the world to straddle an F1™ circuit and breathtakingly built half on land and half over the Yas Marina. It is 365 days of action at Yas Marina Circuit, as year round the track plays host to some of the world’s top motor racing series and a full calendar of motorsports and entertainment events. Opportunities at Yas Marina Circuit extend well beyond the Grand Prix, with the Circuit being a state-of-the-art mixed use venue that can be adapted to meet any event, exhibition or conference. For more information, visit www.Yasmarinacircuit.com.
The Souk at Central Market
Having recently staged its soft opening, this traditional Arabian souk will be an essential stop for residents and tourists with the emphasis on traditional and regional products ranging from jewelry, carpets, antiques, tailoring, fashion and diverse restaurants. Find out more at www.centralmarket.ae.
Local InfoView in Google Maps
By car, Abu Dhabi is accessible from border crossings with Saudi Arabia and Oman via freeways.
Buses run daily to Abu Dhabi from Dubai and Oman. There are also services between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
In Abu Dhabi the main bus terminal and long-distance taxi stand (cnr East Rd & Haza’a bin Zayed St) is south of the centre. The large buses near the taxi stand leave for Dubai, while buses for the rest of the emirate run from the left (south) side of the building.
There is currently no rail network in the UAE, and consequently no service in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi has two International airports:
International Airport is located 26 km east of Abu Dhabi city centre and currently has three passenger terminals at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Al Ain International Airport is located 23 km to the northwest of Al Ain city centre, some 160 km from the city of Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways is the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates. The airline was set up by a Royal decree in July 2003, with Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, as its hub.