• Sunday , 7 June 2020

Abu Dhabi Destination Guide: Attending the 2019 Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The FIA Formula One World Championship™ is the ultimate motorsport race in the world. Not only does each race draw in millions of television and online viewers, but millions more also pour into Formula One™ racing destinations to witness the event live.

The F1™ calendar maintains its presence in some of the world’s biggest markets. With the exception of the ever-popular Monaco Grand Prix and the historic Silverstone race, no other race is as highly anticipated and as spectacular as the 2019 Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ready to rev your engines? Here is what you need to know before attending the biggest international festival in the Middle East.

Travel essentials

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, is home to world-class cuisine, heritage attractions, and cultural arts and museums. Visitors from countries throughout Europe, North America, and parts of Asia will be provided a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival.

The local currency is the UAE dirham. Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted throughout Abu Dhabi. There are also licensed currency exchange offices available to visitors looking to exchange foreign currencies.

The official language of the UAE is Arabic. But as a preeminent travel destination, English is widely spoken throughout the major cities. English is less spoken once you leave the major towns.

With the desert climate, there is sunshine year round. The weather in Abu Dhabi is subtropical. In the winter months (November to March), when the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held, the temperature can range from a low of 13°C (50°F) at night to 24°C (75°F) during the day.

Race information

The Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held on the Yas Marina Circuit, situated on Yas Island, just east of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi debuted as the season finale venue for the F1™ calendar in 2009. Former Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel won Abu Dhabi’s inaugural race.

The Yas Marina Circuit is a 5.5km Hermann Tilke-designed track. The track is defined by slow-speed corners at the beginning and end of the track, a 1.2km straight between Turn 7 and Turn 8, and a trick run through Turns 15 and 16 into 17.

As the only twilight race in the F1™ calendar, the track used is superimposed against a dramatic backdrop of a yacht-filled marina, off-track attractions, and the stunning, five-star Yas Viceroy Hotel. All in all, this makes for an electric race day experience.

Getting tickets

Abu Dhabi is a favorite among drivers and fans alike. As the grand finale of the F1™ season, the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2019 is a full five-day experience, making it an attractive race destination for any F1™ enthusiast.

The best way to enjoy the magical setting of this twilight race is by securing the highly sought-after F1™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Paddock Club VIP package. This extra special VIP experience provides unprecedented access and exclusive benefits such as Paddock Club access, pit lane walk of the track, driving tours, and F1™ driver meet-and-greets.

If you can’t opt-in for the Paddock Club VIP experience, there are other ticket packages available. These include 2- and 3-day Grandstand tickets and General Admission tickets.

Off-track attractions

Abu Dhabi is also a great testing ground and a fantastic racing venue. Off-track entertainment on Yas Island is unlike any other. Dozens of activities and after parties await visitors long after the checkered flag has been waved.

The culmination of the 2018 F1™ season in Abu Dhabi saw an impressive star-studded after party. An impressive line-up of musicians and performers took to the stage on Yas Island. Concert-goers were entertained by incredible performances from The Weeknd, Guns N’ Roses, Post Malone, Sam Smith, French Montana, and R&B artist Nelly.

Off-track entertainment features MAD, the UAE’s largest indoor nightclub, the leisurely Yas Beach, Yas Mall, Yas Marina, and the 18-hole Yas Links golf course. And of course, there’s Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, an adrenaline-fueled theme park home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa.

Off-island attractions are just as specular. Visitors to the city can immerse themselves in culture and experience the country’s rich heritage. Attractions include:

  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • Jumeirah at Etihad Towers’ observation deck
  • Qasr Al-Hosn
  • Desert Safari tours
  • Heritage Village

Getting around

Yas Island is well-situated, located just 15 minutes away from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Getting around Yas Island and Abu Dhabi itself is not difficult. But as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the Middle East’s premier motorsport event, taxis may be in high demand.

When planning to attend the Formula One race, prepare accordingly. While Yas Island benefits from decent transport links, be sure to plan for traffic delays and allow for additional time for travel.

That’s because when it comes to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, no one wants to come in last place.


Oliver Kent is the Managing Director of ZK Sports & Entertainment, operating in the Middle East for over 10 years now. He is currently leading the company’s recent appointment as the Exclusive Marketing and Sales Agent for F1 Experiences in the Middle East.

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