x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Abu Dhabi Formula One tickets nearly sold out

Prince and Kanye West concert announcements, as well as the Yas Marina Circuit hosting the title showdown, accelerate purchases.

Tickets for Abu Dhabi Formula One are going fast.
Tickets for Abu Dhabi Formula One are going fast.

ABU DHABI // Ticket sales for Abu Dhabi's second Formula One Grand Prix are dashing to the finish line. A month before the event, about 90 per cent of tickets have been sold, organisers said. 

Seats at all the stands are selling faster than last year, according to Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management. Stephen Umfreville, the management's commercial director, said last year's success and a possible decider at this year's season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit have led to increased interest.

"It may be a title decider and with the concerts and the event itself, it is very popular," he said. "There are five points up for grabs, and realistically five drivers are in with a chance to win it. All are in for a good show." 

Last year, tickets sold out a week before the event. While he did not want to speculate when the last ticket would be sold this year, he was confident they would all go before the event.

"We can't say when it will sell out but it will," he said. "This year, the attention has increased and there's a steady growth of sales leading into it." 

Fans can still buy tickets in the Support Pit Grandstand and the South Grandstand. Both cost Dh2,000 for three days and Dh1,800 for two days. Tickets are still available for the Al Jood hospitality area of the North Grandstand, which cost Dh4,250.

The three-day event starts on November 12 and finishes with the final race of the year's F1 calendar on Sunday night. After the race, Prince will close with a concert, open only to those holding race tickets. 

"Our advice to anyone who wants to come to the Grand Prix is to buy now, because the remaining tickets will sell quickly," he said. On a UAE-based website, most tickets for sale are still going for the face value of Dh2,000 per ticket for Grandstand seats, which have sold out.

The Dh16,600 VIP tickets offering entry to the paddock club in the centre of the track, with a private suite and a gourmet meal, sold out in May. They - and the three-day tickets - include access to the Friday night concert when Kanye West takes to the stage. The package also allows fans into the Linkin Park concert on Saturday night. 

"Sales have picked up since the announcement of the concerts, but it's impossible to say how much of that is due to the concerts themselves and how much is down to the fact that the race is just over four weeks away," Mr Umfreville said.

eharnan@thenational.ae