Oman’s Ministry of Tourism promotes sailing
posted | Monday, 20 Feb 2012
Oman’s Ministry of Tourism has sponsored Team Muscat 2012 in the second ‘Sailing Arabia – The Tour’ sailing regatta, which kicked off on February 12, 2012.
The financial support forms part of promotional activities related to Muscat’s selection as the Arab Capital for Tourism in 2012. The tour was established in 2011 by Oman Sail to inspire young Omanis to take up sailing as both a recreational hobby 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. Mohsin Al Busaidi, team captain of the Omani team holds the honour of being the first Arab sailor to complete a non-stop tour around the world in a sail boat.
Of the nine participating teams, four are from Oman and the others are from France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Only Farr 30 class racing yachts, the same vessel type as the French tour, can compete.
The first stage of the race, from Bahrain to Qatar, has seen Oman Sail face some difficulty early on, with the team trailing in eighth place.
Oman Ministry of Tourism have been hosting media roundtables to be held a day before the departure of the boats to each race destination. Awards ceremonies are to be held on February 27, 2012, at Mussanah Marina, Oman’s newest marina located 85km northwest of Muscat.
Director of tourism promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Haitham Mohammed Ghasani 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, travel and adventure attractions this year as Arab Tourism Capital 2012. We call on the citizens and Oman residents to lend their support to our team and follow their progress as they compete with some of the world’s best.”