We had the pleasure of attending the last race of the F1 season at Yas Marina circuit in November to see Valtteri Bottas bring the field across the finish line as the teams head home for a well-deserved rest. The atmosphere of the entire Marina area and the general support for the event from the country provides a lesson to all on how to deliver a successful and exuberant event!
We noticed, brilliant traffic management and free shuttle services to move fans around the huge area, taxi fares that were the same as at any other time of the year, a hugely diverse set of pre and post-race entertainment delivered by international superstars and even food & beverages that were not overpriced.
We understand that the UAE Government financially supported many of the external events to ensure a level of quality and production that matched the country’s high standards for tourism and ensured that visitors were given the best possible value for money and experience to ensure their return in 2018.
We were lucky enough to watch the race from a yacht moored in the Marina – yes, we did this F1 in style! A professional food delivery service offered spectators a choice of delicious delicacies and all sorts of beverages, efficiently and at reasonable prices. Example, good quality wines priced at 39dhs (BD3.9) PER BOTTLE! Not once did we feel like we were being exploited.
It was also pleasing to note that the hotel rates in the country, excluding the few hotels directly attached to the circuit, were charging almost standard rates, with no premium for the F1 circus being in town – exceptional!
The vibrancy of the whole event transfused into the Formula 1 fans and was responsible for developing a wonderful ambience and camaraderie. We very much look forward to attending again next year and also hope that others learn from their lead in how to deliver a spectacularly successful event. HHT