Phase two construction work has begun on the specially designed ‘Destination Village’ — as big as eight football pitches – taking shape on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche breakwater.
With site clearance complete, the task has begun of laying a staggering 873,000 paving stones over almost half the site, which is adjacent to the Heritage Village and overlooks Abu Dhabi’s city skyline. Stone laying is due for completion at the end of next month.
Work has also started on a month-long dredging programme of the surrounding waterways to allow entry of the 4.5 metre keeled state-of-the-art race yachts that will contest the Volvo Ocean Race. They will arrive in the UAE capital for New Year’s Eve after a demanding 5,430 nautical mile race leg from Cape Town.
And a three-phase construction programme to build permanent yacht pontoons is also underway, with installation due to begin mid-August when off-site pre-fabrication is complete. The pontoons will be a key component of the site — they will serve as a sailing centre once the Volvo Open 70s sail out of the UAE capital in mid-January.
To mark the occasion, ADTA’s Nasser Al Reyami, Director of Tourism Standards; Mubarak Al Nuaimi, International Promotions Manager; and Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager; laid the first paving stone, which had been specially engraved with today’s date.
“This facility will be a major infrastructure addition to Abu Dhabi’s watersports, and therefore tourism, offering,” said Al Reyami. “It will significantly enhance our credentials as a world-class winter watersports destination.”
Full infrastructure work is due for completion this September. Temporary structure build will run until December when the final phase of installing more than 130 Volvo Ocean Race team gear, hospitality and equipment containers will take place.