General Travel News

Little Nora arrives safely into Abu Dhabi

Nora Bheag, a near century old Galway ‘Hooker’ boat, has arrived safely into Abu Dhabi after an historic voyage that set out from the city on Ireland’s West Coast more than six weeks ago.

Nora Bheag ('Little Nora' in English which also means 'Little Light' in Arabic) is in the UAE capital as part of a culture exchange programme to celebrate the maritime histories of Ireland and Abu Dhabi around the emirate’s historic hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race, which takes place 31st December 2011 to 14th January 2012. Schoolchildren in Galway have tracked the entire remarkable journey of Little Nora to Abu Dhabi.

The maritime histories of Ireland and the Arabian Gulf have some similarities. Where the Galway ‘Hookers’ were traditionally used for fishing and transport, Abu Dhabi’s dhows shared a similar ‘work-boat lineage’, associated in their case with pearl-diving, fishing and trade.

The Irish Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Ciarán Madden and members of the Galway Hooker Association, worked together with the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Heritage Club to develop the cultural exchange programme. With both cities hosting a stopover for the grueling 39,000 mile round the world ‘Everest of Sailing’ in 2012, the initiative celebrates common ties between the two.

An agreement was made between the Irish Embassy, Emirates Heritage Club, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Tourism Ireland to ship Little Nora to Abu Dhabi for this New Year’s Volvo Ocean Race hosting.

Nora Bheag’s crew and supporters are expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi on 2nd January when they will launch, rig and prepare her to sail along Abu Dhabi’s coast, making her the first Galway ‘Hooker’ to do so.

Little Nora has a busy schedule lined up during her stay in the UAE capital including being ‘guest of honour’ at the official Irish Day on the 6th January at the purpose-built Race Destination Village on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche breakwater as well as taking members of the public for special trips around the bay.

The return exchange will happen when the Volvo Ocean Race reaches Galway in Ireland in July next year. An amazing spectacle of six dhows and 60 Emirati crewmembers will be hosted in the city, the Volvo Ocean Race finishing port, to take part in an exhibition race against a fleet of ‘Hookers’ as part of the grand finale festivities.

For more information on the Abu Dhabi stopover and to book stunning holiday and travel packages, please visit The Volvo Ocean Race Abu Dhabi website.

More General Travel News
World’s longest urban zipline launches in Dubai
Luxury cruiseliner Crystal Symphony makes Dubai first port of call
French President Macron inaugurates Louvre Abu Dhabi
Latest Travel News
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, will be clo...
Etihad Airways National Day takeover of ...
World’s longest urban zipline launches i...
Featured Sights To See
Hala Sultan Tekke

Hala Sultan Tekke

Larnaca, Cyprus

Believed to be the site of the grave of Umm Haram, the wife of Ubada bin al-Samit, Hala Sultan Tekke is a prominent shrine for Muslims. The tombs were discovered around the 18th century, and have attracted lots of visitors since. The grave and tomb has now been transformed into a magnificent mosque on its premises, with an extensive octagonal fountain structure next to it. The site is visited by t...

Schonhof Pavilion

Schonhof Pavilion

Frankfurt, Germany

Located within Grüneburgpark is a medieval castle, which once was occupied by knights and then turned into a baroque estate before its was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 1819. Over the years, the castle was reduced in size to make way for roads and infrastructural development and ownership has been handed over to the city.  The elaborate architecture and classical look makes it a sight to see ...

Sacre Coeur Cathedral

Sacre Coeur Cathedral

Casablanca, Morocco

The Sacre Coeur Cathedral is situated on the northwest edge of the Parc de la Ligue Arabe. It is an imposing building that gracefully blends different architectural influences; the European style and traditional Moroccan. Designed by Paul Toron in 1930, the cathedral has been used as a school, theatre and cultural center. Address: Parc  de la Ligue Arabe                        {loadposi...

Sayidda Zainab Mosque

Sayidda Zainab Mosque

Damascus, Syria

This beautiful mosque is built at the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) grand-daughter’s burial site. Built like the Sayidda Ruqayya mosque, it is very popular amongst Iranian and other Muslim pilgrims from all over the globe. The mosque is beautiful with a shiny onion shaped golden dome, beautiful blue tile work and two minarets. Zainab’s mausoleum is located in the centre of the mosque. The interior of the mo...