Thursday, August 13, 2009

What They’re Saying about RAK—the New America’s Cup Venue in UAE

Where’s RAK?
Larry Ellison, BMW Oracle boss, after a lackluster BMW Oracle presentation in San Diego, is still questioning the safety of Ras al Khaimah with its proximity to Iran but Russell Coutts is suggesting privately that he wants to get on with the battle on the water.

Putting RAK on the Map
People have heard of Dubai and Abu Dhabi but the question everyone outside of the UAE has been asking is, “Where is RAK?”

An article at Yacht Sponsorship (13 August 2009) says the America’s Cup in February 2010 is giving the chance for the UAE to put another emirate on the map.

A recent article this week (12 August 2009) in Abu Dhabi’s The National, looks at the task of branding RAK or the America’s Cup in RAK to ensure it has ongoing marketing power in the same way that the F1 Grand Prix has achieved this for Bahrain.

Much Branding to Do
An ‘air hostess’ (her term) and blog writer went last weekend in search of RAK and concluded it was something of a ghost town. Her quirky photos, entitled ‘The Randomness of RAK’ are of one slice of the city—its history, its littleness, its dustiness. Probably the locals won’t be too happy to see these pictures (and her second set) as representative of the complete range of services in their beloved town and emirate.

Fortunately the America’s Cup venue is going to be a brand new construction on a new 22-hectare purpose-built island site that will be part of the Al Hamra Village lagoon, a new luxury resort with more than 3,500 homes.

Confirming the Yacht
The US team Oracle has confirmed it will challenge Alinghi in a huge trimaran which it has been testing in California. Called at present ‘BOR 90’

RAK Staging Multihull Duel
With Alinghi defending its title in a 90-foot catamaran which it airlifted from Switzerland this week over the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, RAK looks to be the venue of a multihull duel—the ‘bi’ against the ‘tri’.

RAK Getting on With Life
While there’s considerable buzz surrounding the announcement of the new venue at RAK, the town is also getting on with everyday living.

Sadly the community’s joy has been tinged by the tragedy this week of three local Emirati children who were killed on Monday in a road accident while holidaying in India.

There is news of RAK fishermen getting their licenses cancelled because of selling rotten fish.

With Ramadan commencing this month RAK charity groups have distributed food rations to more than 200 families, thus expressing an important theme of this holy month. RAK might also stand for ‘Random Acts of Kindness.’

Yes, the city of Ras al Kaimah seems excited to be in the media spotlight and getting international recognition but there are some sad, happy, ordinary and holy things to be taken care of before the ancient competition, with its warring teams in multihull craft, square off for the first time in the Middle East.

On Related Sites
Sheikh Mohammed Called ‘Sheikh Mo Mentum’ at the US Horse Racing Sales, Experiencing the Emirates, 13 August 2009.

Powerful News for Fujairah, Fujairah in Focus, 12 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

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Images: “RAK looks to be the venue of a multihull duel—the ‘bi’ against the ‘tri’.”