ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Seven-time Grammy award-winning super band Coldplay will rock in the New Year in Abu Dhabi tomorrow with a spectacular performance on the opening night of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover on the city’s Corniche breakwater.
The sell out concert will take place adjacent to the Abu Dhabi Destination Village, which will be officially opened at 1100 local time (0700 UTC) 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.
Having last played to 20,000 fans in Abu Dhabi in 2009, British band Coldplay are relishing a return to the UAE capital to play for their tens of thousands of fans from across the region and beyond.
Final preparations are being carried out at the 55,000 square metre Destination Village, located next to the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, which will form the centrepiece of the race’s two-week stopover in the city.
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 which runs 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 will also be 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 is planned during the fortnight long stopover, including, 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 will also be able to 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 will see 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 culminating in the start of the race’s 4,600 nautical mile third leg to Sanya, China on January 14.