x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Top speeds, top prices for F1 Grand Prix race

Packages for the Formula One Grand Prix to be held in Abu Dhabi in November are selling for up to Dh50,000.

The Formula One Grand Prix, which sells about 50,000 tickets each year and is the biggest event on the calendar for Abu Dhabi, provides a huge economic windfall for hotels in the capital.
The Formula One Grand Prix, which sells about 50,000 tickets each year and is the biggest event on the calendar for Abu Dhabi, provides a huge economic windfall for hotels in the capital.

Luxury packages for the Formula One Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi in November, including a stay at the Yas Hotel which bridges the race track, are carrying price tags starting from Dh43,995 (US$11,979) per person.

The packages, which do not include flights, have been launched by Etihad Airways' destination management company, Hala Abu Dhabi.

For the minimum price, the guest will get a four-night stay in the Yas Hotel, a limo pick up at the airport, a three-day "Paddock Club" ticket and access to the post-race Amber Lounge Party, according to Etihad Airways.

Meanwhile, to stay in Dubai at the Burj Al Arab will cost guests even more, with prices for similar packages starting from Dh49,995.

The event, which sells about 50,000 tickets each year and is the biggest event on the calendar for the capital, provides a huge economic windfall for hotels in the capital.

Thomas Cook in the UK, which is selling a variety of packages for the event, said it was seeing high demand. "This is a record season for Abu Dhabi and we are taking more passengers than ever before," the company said.

No data has been released on the economic impact of the event for the emirate. But as an indicator, international visitors to the grand prix in Bahrain in previous years spent an average of $1,356 a day, while visitors from the UK spent $1,723 a day. With millions watching the event around the globe, the exposure that the event generates for Abu Dhabi is huge.

Companies in the UK have also moved to capitalise on the event. A company called Exclusive F1 Experiences, based in Bristol, is selling luxury packages for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which include private jet flights from London, New York, Hong Kong and Sydney, and helicopter transfers to the event, as well as an option to watch the event from a yacht in the Yas marina by the race track.

rbundhun@thenational.ae