x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Marina is the magnet for A-list fans

Waterfront beckons stars to Formula One season's grand finale.

Yachts are an ideal vantage point for watching the Monaco Grand Prix.
Yachts are an ideal vantage point for watching the Monaco Grand Prix.

Whether the Formula One championship is decided or not by the time the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place, one thing is certain - plenty of big names will be there to watch it. The addition of a superyacht marina, around which the circuit snakes, makes it all the more likely that stars will make their way to the UAE come November.

Dignitaries have already planned where they will be watching the race, and the security implications of hosting so many VIPs in one place at one time are also being considered. What is not being made public, however, is just who will be attending, according to Paul Lane, the project director for Aldar Marinas. A large number of berths have already been allocated, while the process of deciding who else will be given the view to end all views is under way.

"We are starting to lease berths now," said Mr Lane. "Because of the demand in the market, we are taking a very measured approach to who we lease to. "A large number of the largest parking spaces have been leased to VVIPs in the community - but names are confidential." Abu Dhabi will be one of only four F1 venues to host the exclusive Amber Lounge club, after Monaco, Barcelona and Singapore. Seen as one of the most attractive celebrity haunts, tables at the venue during the race weekend will cost up to ?15,000 (Dh77,960) a night.

If Monaco, the best-known waterfront grand prix, is any indication, some big names can be expected. The rapper P Diddy and the actor Robert Downey Jr were in attendance in the principality last month. Bahrain also saw its fair share of famous faces when it hosted its sixth grand prix in late April, from the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson to the former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. @Email:rhughes@thenational.ae