x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

F1 visitors to get map of top attractions

Visitors in Abu Dhabi for next month's Formula One Grand Prix will be encouraged to visit 'tourism icons'.

ABU DHABI // People in town for next month's Formula One Grand Prix will be encouraged to visit "tourism icons" such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Saadiyat Island and the Emirates Palace hotel during their stay. Beginning on Sunday, everyone checking into three, four or five-star hotels and upmarket hotel apartments will be given packs detailing attractions around the emirate. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) wants visitors to see a lot more than just Yas Island, the site of the race.

"It's to ensure the visitors have a great experience from all the tourism icons," said Faisal al Sheikh, the head of ADTA's major events division. "We would like this to be a world-class destination." The welcome packet will include maps of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, flyers from 31 of the emirate's main attractions, and a 200-page Abu Dhabi guide in Arabic and English. The guide contains details of "all the best cultural and sports attractions, food and beverage [outlets] and spas in the emirate", Mr al Sheikh said.

The initiative will last until November 2, the day after the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The ADTA is also opening a tourism kiosk on Yas Island for the race. Five others are already in operation around the emirate, from 8am to 10pm daily. Visitors may also call 800 555 for tourism information. dbardsley@thenational.ae