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Abu Dhabi ready to benefit from Formula One season finale

Abu Dhabi ready to benefit from Formula One season finale
November 25, 2016

60,000 fans are expected to converge on the Yas Marina circuit this weekend for the climactic race of the Formula One season, the Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Bringing a major tourism boost to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the event is also boosted by a series of international star concerts that are part of the F1 package – with this year’s headline act Rihanna following previous headliners, Beyonce and Eminem.

While the event is a major investment by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the infrastructure that hosts the race , the purpose-built Yas Marina track and Yas Viceroy Hotel (that sits across the circuit) cost an estimated US$1.5 billion to construct. That is a lot of concerts and expensive ticket packages to sell to recoup such an investment.

Unsurprisinlgy, the hosts look to recoup this investment.

Ticket prices for the Grand Prix from around US$600 for a two-day pass to the Marina Grandstand to US$5,400 for a three-day ticket to the Paddock Club with the concerts included.

Mark Griffiths, Managing Director of Yas Viceroy Hotel says it is not just the F1 weekend that promotes the bottom line, as the event is a platform for the hotel to sell MICE packages and events around the racetrack for the rest of the year.

However, he states “this is our week and we charge accordingly.

"For the race weekend our rates probably go up to eight times the normal.

"Because we are the only hotel in the world built on an F1 track we will have 100% occupancy for the race weekend, which is Thursday to Sunday, and all our food and beverage outlets will be at near capacity.

“I think the worldwide attention and just the name Abu Dhabi being constantly mentioned as the final race looms brings about global cognisance that is very hard to price."

The global presence and profile of Abu Dhabi has increased exponentially since it began hosting the Grand Prix in 2009.

Donal Kilalea, Chief Executive of Promoseven Sports Marketing in Dubai comments “there is a halo effect of being associated with a sport that has true global appeal.

"It is difficult to specifically state the economic benefits versus the investment. However, as a marketing tool its benefits are clear with the eyes of the world watching your city."

Rashid Aboobacker, a Dubai-based Associate Director at TRI consulting, explains that the race “has helped position the city firmly on the international tourism map alongside many other sought after tourist destinations where the races are held each year, and continue to act as a strong marketing tool.”

With hotel occupancy in Abu Dhabi running at 75.4% through the year but peaking at was 83% during the race, Aboobacker adds “hotels in Yas Island and in the city also leverage the heightened demand to host events and generate significant F&B revenues during this period."

Images: Action from the  Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (top), the Yas Marina Circuit (middle) and the Yas Viceroy Hotel straddles the motor racing track (below).

24th November 2016 - SEA LET IN AS LOUVRE ABU DHABI SLOWLY MOVES TOWARDS OPENING

22nd November 2016 - MALAYSIA TO END F1 GRAND PRIX HOSTING AFTER 2018

12th November 2016 - ABU DHABI LAUNCHES NEW TOURISM CAMPAIGN

28th September 2016 - ABU DHABI’S YAS ISLAND AIMS TO RAISE TOURISM PROFILE AND DOUBLE VISITS

27th November 2015 - YAS MARINA CIRCUIT TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS F1 DRIVERS, MEDIA AND FANS

25th November 2015 - YAS MARINA CIRCUIT PREPARES FOR 2015 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 

5th July 2015 - GLOBAL SURVEY SHOWS F1 FANS WANT RETURN TO BASICS  


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