Abu Dhabi GP tickets in high demand with plans to turn Yas Island into 'festival city'

Biggest crowd yet expected at Yas Marina Circuit in December as event's popularity continues to soar

The F1 Fan Zone at Yas Marina Circuit in 2023, a year in which the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix drew a record number of fans across the weekend.
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The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will celebrate its 10th anniversary of hosting the final race of the season this year, as well as marking 15 years since the Yas Marina Circuit began staging races in 2009.

As host of the season finale to the world's premier race series, each year organisers look to up the stakes to deliver the best entertainment for fans.

Last year’s race drew a record of more than 170,000 fans across the weekend and organisers are expecting an even bigger crowd for the 16th grand prix, which will take place at Yas Marina Circuit from December 6-8.

It is standard practice to begin work on the following year's event after the chequered flag is waved to end the season. Saif Al Noaimi, chief executive of Ethara, the management company behind the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, says they aim to transform Yas Island into a week-long carnival for race week.

“The entire area will be like a festival city during the race week with plenty of activities for the fans to spend an entire week or weekend without a dull moment,” Al Noaimi told The National.

“Of course, the main attraction is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but fans will have access to theme parks and the Louvre, musical concerts, and with the F2, F1 Academy and F4 Trophy races providing more action on the track.

“We just released the tickets on our website and we're seeing a significant demand as in last year, with some of the categories in the main and northern grandstands and some of the other products already sold out.

“Our ticket sales are well ahead of any previous years. The demand is extremely high and anybody who wants a ticket should act quickly.

“There's significant demand for the products. We've seen the return of many popular products from the last few years, and some of the ones that we launched last year.”

With 24 races, the 2024 calendar will be the biggest-ever season in F1 and Al Noaimi is hoping for the championship to reach an exciting conclusion in the UAE capital.

Red Bull's triple world champion Max Verstappen has made a flying start to his title defence by winning the first two races, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and it looks like the 26-year-old Dutchman will once again dominate the drivers' championship.

Al Noaimi said: “This will be the longest-ever F1 season. So, between now and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a lot's going to happen, a lot's going to change.

“The development of the car is also going to change between now and the summer. It'll be interesting to see that growth and that change. It's going to be a nice mix of racing.

“Hopefully it will be a championship-deciding race for us and hopefully it will be an interesting wheel-to-wheel battle in Abu Dhabi.”

Plans to ensure the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix achieves net-zero carbon status as an event and venue by 2030 are progressing well, Al Noaimi said, with more than 30 per cent of Yas Marina Circuit's annual power consumption generated from solar.

“We're seeing the return of all our sustainability initiatives that we had in previous years. We have a commitment and a strategy that will get us to net zero by 2030,” Al Noaimi added.

Updated: March 21, 2024, 7:30 AM