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2010 Air Arabia Sailing Adventure Takes Off

Sponsorship in association with BMI Bank and Audi Bahrain. Adventure to include races in 12 international regattas and championships over 10 months. Air Arabia sponsors sport of sailing for third time.

As further testimony to its commitment to developing sports in the region, Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, in association with BMI Bank, the Bahrain based associate of Bank Muscat, and Audi Bahrain, announced today the launch of the “2010 Air Arabia Sailing Adventure.” The adventure includes sponsorship of Air Arabia pilot and Olympic sailor Sami Al Kooheji in his bid to compete in the 2010 Asian Games to be held in the city of Guangzhou in China next November.

As part of the “2010 Air Arabia Sailing Adventure” and in order to qualify for the 2010 Asian Games, 25 year-old Al Kooheji will launch his campaign today. He will compete in 12 international regattas and training camps in the GCC, Europe and Asia, which will also include the 2010 World Championships to be held in the United Kingdom at Haling Island in August. These thrilling challenges will test Al Kooheji’s strategy, strength and skill to be fully prepared for the 2010 Asian Games to be held in China.

Air Arabia’s initial involvement in the sport of sailing began in 2007, when it sponsored Al Kooheji, who competed in the 2004 Olympic Games to take part in the “2007 Air Arabia World Endurance Challenge,” an unprecedented 550-kilometre non-stop solo voyage in a small laser sail boat from Bahrain to Dubai, where he achieved a new world record. In 2009, the airline then went on to sponsor Bahrain’s National Sailing team for two international regattas in Mumbai. The team named “Bahrain Team Air Arabia” was ranked fifth overall in the championships.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of the 2010 Air Arabia Sailing Adventure along side BMI Bank and Audi Bahrain,” said AK Nizar, Head of Commercial, Air Arabia. “At Air Arabia, we believe that sports play an integral role in today’s society, promoting values such as dedication, determination, competition and good sportsmanship. Air Arabia’s commitment to the sport of sailing has been growing year after the other and we are proud to once again support Sami in his run to the Asian Olympic Games.”

BMI Bank and Audi Bahrain signed on with title sponsors Air Arabia recently. “We are delighted to strategically partner Sami in his new campaign. Our key pillars at BMI Bank include innovation, inspiration, teamwork, integrity and customer satisfaction. As a Bahraini Olympian, Sami represents all these values which is one of the reasons we proud to support his campaign,” said Andrew Bainbridge, Chief Executive Officer of BMI Bank.

Running in tandem with the “2010 Air Arabia Sailing Adventure” Sami will be acting as an ambassador of “Think Pink” campaign to promote breast cancer awareness in the GCC. Sami’s campaign will also be partnered and assisted by the Bahrain Maritime Sports Association, Team Pindar, Sail Bahrain and GAC.

The first regatta on the campaign titled “Sail the Gulf” will take place in Doha, Qatar on February 16th, 2010.

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