We started sailing in Abu Dhabi when we first move here, taking an RYA dinghy sailing course at the Hiltonia Beach club with Watercooled (article here). But, then summer came, and life got in the way. This year we’ve experienced a sailing-revival, starting with going sailing regularly at Eastern Mangroves, renting dinghies from Noukhada, but the costs added up, and we were looking to experience bigger boats. Luckily, we came across Abu Dhabi Sailing Academy, located as Yas Marina a few months ago! Josh, Dave, Charles and I, took the Intermediate Sailing course, allowing us to rent the boats, and have since been out on the water every week that we’ve been in the country. Believe me or not, if you take off at 5:30pm and sail into sunset, the temperature is actually not bad at all.
Abu Dhabi Sailing Academy is run by Miguel Contreras, a Portuguese sailor. He runs courses according to the syllabus of the Portuguese Sailing Federation, and has six First Class 7.5 m Beneteau sail boats and two power boats in his fleet. The Beneteau’s are great to learn and race and they fit up to 6 people. You can take courses, rent the boats by the hour, or take out a membership which Miguel offers at an unbeatable price – we bought it on a promotion for 3000 AED, for 30 hours of boat usage. Do your math. That is 100 AED an hour; divided by 6 people if you have a full boat. Beat that! Service has been great, and the main goal of Miguel and his team is to get people sailing – not to sell you one course after the other and suck every dirham out of your pocket. They are all about the joy of the sport and creating a sailing community!
We try to take along new people every week, in the hope to introduce more people to the fun of sailing and racing. Hopefully, when the weather gets cooler, we’ll be able to rent the whole fleet and enjoy days out with friends, racing around the Al Raha beach area, or stopping somewhere for a bbq. Watch this space!
If you want to give sailing a go, or you can sail and want to rent some very tidy boats, get in touch with Miguel! Check the flyer above for contact details.