MUSCAT – Oman Sail is gearing up for a packed winter season as competitive sailing is back on the agenda with seven major tournaments taking place between October and December 2021. The return of sport to the Sultanate will be a welcome boost to the national tourism economy, which has faced an incredibly challenging period during the pandemic.
The influx of sailors, coaches, race officials and media from around the world is expected to exceed 2400 arrivals into Oman, delivering a multitude of socio-economic benefits to the country.
Dr Khamis al-Jabri, CEO of Oman Sail, said, “The Sultanate of Oman has gained a strong reputation as a world class venue for high profile events. We are excited to use all of our expertise to deliver a series of memorable and impactful championships at marinas across the country in what promises to be the busiest period for sport that Oman has ever seen. After such a long period of enforced down time this is a spectacular way to show that Oman is ready to welcome the world for authentic experiences, famed warm hospitality and perfect conditions for high level sailing”.
Dermot Birchall, General Manager at Barceló Mussanah Resort, said: “The entire hospitality industry is acutely aware of how difficult the past 18 months have been and we are all looking forward to welcoming guests back to Oman from around the world. The mild winter here in Mussanah is perfect for visitors and with such an impressive festival of top-class sailing about to begin, we welcome the revival of tourism in Oman once again”.
The packed calendar kicks off on 11 October 2021 with the Asian Windsurfing Championships in Musandam, before the focus shifts to Mussanah where the anticipated Mussanah Race Week returns from 20 October to 5 November 2021 and the Asian 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 Championships kicks off straight afterwards on 5 November 2021. The stakes are raised even higher a week later when the 2021 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 World Championships also in Mussanah, then Sailing Arabia – The Tour makes a comeback, beginning once again in Mussanah before heading south to Sur before finishing up in Muscat.
While the sailors are battling it out on the water in Sur at Sailing Arabia – The Tour, Mussanah once again plays host to a world championship as the 2021 ICLA Radial World Championships gets underway on 29 November 2021. Oman was chosen as a late replacement host when Houston, Texas, in the United States had to withdraw.
The final event of the season is the most prestigious as the 50th edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships comes to Oman for the very first time. Regarded as a blue-chip event by World Sailing, the Youth World Championships are a highlight of the global sailing calendar and the perfect way to bring an action-packed winter season to a close.
Oman Sail has also secured the World Race Walking Team Championships, which will take place in Muscat in March 2022 as sports and adventure tourism looks to provide a boost to tourism operators, hotels, local restaurants and communities. Oman Sail lent its support to Oman Hockey Association (OHA) in presenting the bid to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the Hockey5s World Cup in 2024, which the Sultanate proudly won. Each event has the potential to showcase the country to new audiences and attract new visitors to the country when full international travel becomes possible again. Previous international events that Oman Sail hosted were popular running events Al Mouj Muscat Marathon and Oman by UTMB.