Abu Dhabi Presents World Yacht Racing Forum

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has just been announced as the Presenting Sponsor of the inaugural World Yacht Racing Forum (WYRF), to be held in Monaco on December 10th and 11th, alongside the 4th edition of the famous Motorsports Business Forum. The WYRF is being hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco, under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.


ADTA is the apex body which manages the tourism business of Abu Dhabi, the largest of seven emirates which form the United Arab Emirates. It recently announced a global partnership with Informa Yacht Group (IYG), the global yachting events business which is launching the WYRF, in a move designed to promote the destination’s expansive leisure maritime prowess.

As part of the agreement, Abu Dhabi will use IYG’s yachting events portfolio as a global marketing platform. ADTA will be present at all the other major Informa Yacht Group events including The Superyacht Cup regattas in Palma and Antigua, the Monaco Yacht Show, and the inaugural Abu Dhabi Yacht Show next March 2009.

‘Abu Dhabi has a strong maritime heritage and unrivalled opportunities for yacht racing and marine leisure in general, with over 200 islands off its mainland shores,’ said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA. ‘These 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 and yacht racing destination.’

Marine leisure and yacht racing are the latest in a string of world-class sporting initiatives undertaken by Abu Dhabi, which is staging the inaugural Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix in November 2009, and is already heavily involved in the World Rally Championship with its BP-Ford Team Abu Dhabi, the annual staging of the 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.

The World Yacht Racing Forum will bring together race organizers, marine leisure venues, sponsors, sail racing teams and their suppliers, yacht builders and designers, and the attendant press and media, from all over the planet – in short, all the businesses and organizations that promote, and depend upon, the world of yacht racing – to network, to discuss and debate the future of the sport, and to inter-promote the commercial opportunities.

“Judging by the extraordinary response from practically all the best-known personalities and events in yacht racing, this Forum is clearly long overdue, and destined to become a major annual focal point for the whole of the yacht racing industry. With such an international gathering, the timing can never be perfect for everybody, but even those who are already committed to other events in other parts of the world, are making the effort to be there. For example, Knut Frostad and Marcus Hutchinson, CEO and Communications Director respectively of the Volvo Ocean Race, are flying straight from the prize-giving ceremony at the finish of the first leg in Kochi, India, to take part in the forum, before flying back to India the next day,” said Andy Treadwell, Joint Managing Director of IYG.

“Our World forum in Monaco provides an ideal platform for Abu Dhabi to promote its yacht racing and leisure resources, including its world-class racing conditions and infrastructure, as well as the growing popularity of the sport – and the subsequent opportunities – in the Gulf region,” he added. “The co-location with the Motorsport Business Forum, and its focus on the business world of Formula One Grand Prix racing, is also strategic for the future; we see great synergies between the commercial opportunities surrounding both sports. And Abu Dhabi is investing in both next year.”