Firstly, Emiratis love fast cars. Visitors to Abu Dhabi are blown away by the luxury vehicles on the roads of the UAE capital. And don’t forget, this is a city where a gentleman bought the number plate ‘1’ for more than A$18 million. He wasn’t alone; the same auction had 750 people bidding on 90 plates, which generated over A$32 million. This is a country that loves its cars!
Secondly, Emiratis love glamour. Abu Dhabi was one of the first places to offer Uber Chopper services, precisely so the glamourous population could get to the race in time. It takes a trip to Abu Dhabi to truly understand the level of luxury that is commonplace and quite attainable for those that visit.
Lastly, Emiratis love to host a party. Coinciding with Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula 1 is Yasalam, a city-wide, month-long festival dedicated to celebrating the race.
Attending a Formula 1 Grand Prix rates highly on many bucket lists, and if there’s a place in the world that the Formula 1 Grand Prix was made for, it’s Abu Dhabi.
All ticket holders get access to pre and post-race concerts that have had performances from the likes of Beyonce, Sir Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue. This year, Rihanna and The Chemical Brothers will thrill race crowds long after the chequered flag has flown. Non-ticket holders can enjoy the ‘Beats on the Beach’ free concerts featuring some of the world’s most exciting up and coming musical talent on the Abu Dhabi Corniche beachfront.
To really experience the Grand Prix, you must stay at the Yas Viceroy. This architectural triumph of a hotel hovers over land, water and the Yas Marina Circuit, so you can soak up the glamour of the occasion on your hotel room balcony while watching Daniel Riccardo zoom under you.
Another side of the city: Beached in Abu Dhabi
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For those visiting outside of Grand Prix time, you can still feel the vroom of a racing car if you wish with the Yas Marina Circuit Driving Experience. Make like James Bond as you race an Aston Martin around the track or experience the closest thing possible to racing a Formula 1 car, driving a Formula Yas 3000.
Yas Island was named the world’s leading tourism project at the 2009 World Travel Awards and there are plenty of reasons why.
Yas Mall is the second largest in the UAE and has literally everything you didn’t know you needed! The high quality shopping is extremely reasonable and hard to resist. Shopping is a national sport in the UAE, so it’s also a great place to people watch.
Next door is the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The first and only Ferrari-branded theme park, it is famed for its 240km per hour Formula Rossa roller coaster, the fastest in the world. If the need for speed isn’t calling, there are still plenty of things to do for the Ferrari loving soul. Compete in the Scuderia Challenge, race to change an F1 tyre or simply marvel at the Galleria Ferrari.
Yas Island is also home to the first links golf course in the Middle East, designed by Kyle Phillips, one of the world’s leading golf course designers. Everything that Yas Island offers is only 15 minutes from the airport so there are no long transfers after your flight, just a quick drive to your luxurious hotel.
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Beached In Abu Dhabi
When thinking of Abu Dhabi, some may think of vast undulating sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see or the extraordinary green oases that magically appear. Others may think of the extremely luxurious hotels and resorts that are more affordable than reason would suggest.