With the sporting world primed to turn its collective gaze on the UAE capital for the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has teamed up with a host of local stakeholders to maximise the destination’s international promotion potential during the emirate’s flagship sporting event.
In addition to the dramatic, thrill-a-minute on-track spectacle and a star-studded line-up of musicians and artists performing at the Grand Prix’s official After-Race concerts at du Arena and the Yasalam ‘Beats on the Beach’ festival, Hollywood’s biggest hitters and cheque-signing moneymen, Bollywood’s best, international football’s finest and countless other household celebrities will grace pit lanes, strut red carpets, visit leading attractions and nestle down in luxurious hotel rooms all over the emirate.
Vitally, TCA Abu Dhabi is also leveraging the F1 showpiece by hosting a cache of the world’s pre-eminent tour operators from key source markets to demonstrate the destination’s maturing and multi-faceted leisure-culture-business proposition.
Countries represented include the UK, the USA, Russia, India, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia and China.
Additionally, 15 key lifestyle media from many of the emirate’s key source markets - in terms of hotel guest performance - are also en route to Abu Dhabi.
International press will embark on tailored tours highlighting the increasing diversity of the emirate’s tourism product offering.
“This is certainly our most varied Grand Prix activation in terms of the spread of guests,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, event manager, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“We have ensured the right audience experiences the emirate and then helps spread our ‘travellers welcome’ message in their home countries.
“There is no bigger weekend for Abu Dhabi than F1 - we are under the spotlight and we are intent on making sure the emirate shines.”
With celebrities such as the Arab world’s singing star Kadim Al Sahir, British songstress Leona Lewis, Indian actress Chitranga Randhawa, music giant Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo, Turkish pop star Aydan Kaya, star players from Manchester City Football Club, Saudi song legend Mohamed Abdo, and Team GB’s London 2012 golden girl Jessica Ennis heading TCA Abu Dhabi’s glittering guest list, half a dozen leading Hollywood producers from studios such as Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation will also traverse the emirate scouting potential film locations for future silver screen projects.
Representatives from Twofour54 – the Abu Dhabi-based media and creative industries hub – will accompany the Hollywood contingent and outline the entity’s unique incentive scheme for international production crews.
All of TCA Abu Dhabi’s international guests will fly to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways, the UAE’s award-winning national carrier, and stay in luxurious five-star accommodation, including the five-star Eastern Mangroves Resort & Spa by Anantara, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, and the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas on Saadiyat.
The who’s who of talent featured in the Chequered Flag Ball at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort on November 2.
In addition to the star-studded line-up of guests, some 15,000 international spectators will descend on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
According to the Yas Marina Circuit, the race venue, international ticket sales equate to 35 per cent of all sales this year - up from 21 per cent of overall sales last year.
Key international growth markets for 2012 include Australia, UK, Europe and the US.
To cater for the huge surge in international visitors, TCA Abu Dhabi will operate a dedicated ‘Oasis’ in the Grand Prix F1 Village.
Aligning elements of traditional Emirati heritage with all things F1, spectators will be able to have their picture taken with a falcon – the UAE’s national bird – have their names written in Arabic calligraphy, have their hands painted in henna, try traditional Arabic coffee and dates and even take a spin of Yas Marina Circuit in an F1 simulator.
Those visiting the Oasis and signing up for Abu Dhabi’s destination website newsletters will also be in with a chance to win a trip to January’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship which will feature the giants of the game including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
The authority will also have a Visitor Centre in Yas Marina where race-goers can pick up various destination collaterals – including maps and guides.
Grand Prix tickets, the only way to see the official After-Race concerts, are also still available and can be bought direct from the race venue.
More information at Abu Dhabi.