The Formula One Grand Prix to be held in Bahrain in April 2004 will be called the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix
At a press conference attended by HE Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit and President of the General Organisation for Youth and Sport, James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Gulf Air, and Hans Geist, General Manager of the Bahrain International Circuit, it was announced that Gulf Air is to be the major and naming rights sponsor and official carrier for the 2004 Formula One Grand Prix event to be held in Bahrain.
It is an achievement for Bahrain, and is evidence of the recognition for the Kingdom in the international community.
Commenting on the deal, Gulf Air President and Chief Executive, James Hogan said: “Gulf Air is both honoured and delighted to be part of this milestone event in the history of Bahrain and the region. I would like to thank our partners in the Bahrain International Circuit and the Bahrain Motorsport Federation for their support and endorsement during the negotiations leading up to this agreement.
“Over the last year Gulf Air has put its weight behind a number of initiatives designed to boost awareness of and interest in all the things its owner states have to offer, in particular tourism attractions,” he said “The first Formula One race in the Middle East provides an attraction of the highest order and at the same time, unprecedented opportunities to put Bahrain on the world map.
He added that Gulf Air will put its extensive marketing resources behind the promotional campaign in order to attract the maximum number of spectators and at the same time to ensure that the all race fans visiting the Kingdom will have a memorable experience.
Gulf Air’s involvement in the Grand Prix extends well beyond sponsorship to other operational and logistical questions as well.
“This is very much a partnership with the Government, the Bahrain International Circuit and the Bahrain Motor sport Federation,” he said. “To this end, discussions between the airline and with the relevant ministries are at an advanced stage, to ensure that all arrangements are of the highest standard. This includes the facilitation of visa applications.”
The airline also announced the first of a series of all-inclusive packages that include flights, accommodation and Grand Prix tickets for spectators from abroad.
“For Gulf Air, and for other businesses involved in the travel and tourism industry, such as hotels and car hire companies, it provides an opportunity like no other, to showcase the traditional Arabian hospitality and warmth for which the island is famous to the people who will be visiting Bahrain for the Grand Prix,” he said.
An event of this scope and size is good for Bahrain. In addition to creating thousands of employment opportunities, it is driving rapid infrastructural development that will also benefit the region in the longer term.
“By aligning ourselves with an event, which will generate economic opportunity and growth in the Kingdom of Bahrain, we have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the well being of the community and the region,” Mr Hogan said in conclusion.
About Gulf Air -
Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, and is the only truly pan Gulf airline in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 45 cities in 33 countries. The fleet is one of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 33 aircraft.
The airline is in the first year of a three-year strategic recovery programme, headed by President and Chief Executive, James Hogan. The airline’s aim is to further evolve by taking its renowned cultural strengths, which have been gained over more than half a century, into a global environment.