Muscat: Oman Sail has been announced as a nominee for the prestigious Middle East Sports Industry Awards 2022 (SPIA), joining a host of renowned sports events and organisers from across the region. Shortlisted for both ‘Best Sports Event Organiser of the Year’ and ‘Best Sports Event of the Year’ for the Youth Sailing World Championships 2021, Oman Sail showcased hosting capability post-pandemic by delivering on a series of continental and world sailing championships, culminating in the hosting of the 50 th edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships, making the Sultanate the first country in the region to host this prestigious event.
In 2021, Oman Sail delivered nine major projects in the sport of sailing, attracting over 2,500 international competitors to experience the world class facilities and conditions that Oman has to offer. Utilising its many years of international event management experience, the Sultanate of Oman positioned itself as a COVID safe destination for major global sailing events, ensuring championship events could proceed following the withdrawal of original host venues.
These events were planned and delivered by a 96% Omanised team, contributing over OMR 2.8 million to the national economy, including over 7,800 hotel room nights to the Sultanate’s tourism industry.
Dr Khamis Al Jabri, Oman Sail CEO, said, “2021 was an incredibly successful year for Oman Sail as we managed to come back strongly to host a significant number of international events in the Sultanate, while a considerable part of the world was still experiencing COVID 19 related challenges. We welcomed nations from around the world to Oman through our event hosting and ensured all athletes, support teams and race officials were best placed to deliver their optimum performance and delivery on and off the water. Our 96% Omanised workforce delivered a world class portfolio of events and firmly established the Sultanate of Oman as a renowned destination for world class sports events.”
Barcelo Mussanah Resort played host to the Asian and African Sailing Olympic Qualification event in April 2021, bringing 456 Sailors from 46 nations to Oman to decide qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Following the completion of the Games in Tokyo in August, the eyes of the sailing world moved to Oman where three World and two Asian sailing championship events were staged, in addition to two of Oman Sail’s signature events.
October 2021 saw the start of a busy final quarter of the year as Oman Sail hosted the 2021 Asian Windsurfing Championships and Mussanah Race Week – which included a Para Sailing event for the first time - before welcoming the 2021 49er, 49er FX Asian Championships and the 2021 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 World Championships.
The annual premier event, Sailing Arabia – The Tour, began in Mussanah on 24 November and ran through to 5 December with teams competing from 4 different nations. The penultimate event of 2021 was the ICLA 6 World Championships, where Oman Sail once again offered a COVID safe venue for some of the world’s best sailors and the perfect preparation for the management team prior to the start of the Youth Sailing World Championships.
The Youth Sailing World Championships attracted over 800 international guests, including 357 sailors, making it the largest ever edition of this annual event. The Championships also witnessed another landmark achievement as Oman Sail set a new Guinness World Records™ title for the Most Nationalities Collecting Litter in a single location. Under supervision by an adjudicator from Guinness World Records™, participants at the Youth Sailing World Championships, including sailors, Oman Sail officials and staff at Barceló Mussanah Resort broke a new record with 73 nationalities collecting over 344kg of litter at Mussanah public beach.
Dr Khamis added, “The experience gained during 2021 will leave an indelible legacy on the country’s potential to shine on the world stage and adds to the growing belief in the global sports community that our largely-Omani team of event professionals can deliver events on a par with anything across the globe. We believe our work has cemented Oman’s reputation as world class destination for major sports events. The hosting of such events will support of the growth of the nation’s sports tourism market and contribute to the long-term prosperity of our nation”.
Organised by Sport 360X, the SPIA Awards recognise the achievements of the sporting industry across the Middle East in 18 categories. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on 31 May 2022 at the W Hotel in Dubai. For more information, please visit www.spiame.com.