MUSCAT: Oman Sail has been awarded gold in the category of 'Best Sport Event Organiser' and silver in the category of 'Best Sport Event of The Year' at the prestigious Middle East Sports Industry Awards 2022 (SPIA). The awards were in recognition for successfully delivering three Asian and three world sailing championships during 2021.
Joining the leading sports events, initiatives and organisers from across the region, Oman Sail CEO Dr Khamis al Jabri received the trophies on behalf of the organisation at a gala reception at the W Hotel in Dubai.
Dr Khamis said: “Winning two awards, judged by our industry peers, is a great recognition of the scale and quality of the work done by our entire team. We are rightfully proud of our achievement and the positive impact our work had on the nation in 2021. Oman’s reputation as a world class destination for major events within the international sport industry has now been firmly established, and this reward signifies the high level of expertise within the Oman Sail team, which is proudly 96 per cent Omanised. The level of trust placed in us by the Class Associations, sailing authorities and the global sailing community is now being shared by the wider industry.”
Oman Sail was nominated for both ‘Best Sports Event Organiser’ and ‘Best Sports Event’ following an exceptional year. The organisation utilised over 13 years of international event management experience to deliver nine major sailing events, a nationwide community sailing festival and an environmental protection programme that culminated in Oman Sail setting a new Guinness World Records. In the category of ‘Best Sports Event of the Year, Oman Sail was awarded silver behind the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix who took the gold.
In total, Oman Sail’s event hosting in 2021 attracted over 2,500 international competitors to the country, accounting for 7,800 hotel room nights and contributing over RO 2.8 million directly to the national economy.
Oman Sail are already deep in planning for events that will take place between October and December 2022, including the Arab Sailing Championships, the RS Venture Connect ParaSailing World Championships and the RC44 Oman Cup, ensuring that Oman will continue to showcase it’s world class venues for major global sports events.
Organised by Sport 360X, the Sport Industry Awards (SPIA) recognises the achievements of the sporting industry across the Middle East in 18 categories. The winners were announced at a gala awards ceremony on May 31 at the W Hotel in Dubai.
Barcelo Musannah 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 Musannah 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 Musannah 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 Barcelo Musannah Resort broke a new record with 73 nationalities collecting over 344kg of litter at Musannah public beach.