Abu Dhabi is a beautiful place to plan a holiday, whether you are looking for a romantic escape, a getaway with friends or somewhere to spend some much-needed family time. What’s more, once a year this lively emirate hosts the final race of the Formula 1 World Championship.
With the last track of the season often having massive implications for the driver and constructor titles, it’s an exciting place to plan a holiday if you are a petrol head or racing fan.
Read our guide to find out how to make the most of your time in Abu Dhabi, and explore everything this emirate has to offer.
The race itself
Normally held towards the end of November, the race in Abu Dhabi is the last event in the Formula 1 calendar, making it one of the most exciting of the season. The circuit is situated on Yas Island, which is less than 20 miles from the city centre on Saadiyat Island.
With the impressive Yas Viceroy arches towering over the circuit itself, the Abu Dhabi race offers one of the most atmospheric events of the year. The track is also home to a number of high-end hotels, including the Crown Plaza and Radisson Blu at Yas Plaza. However, if you choose to stay a little further out, Yas Island is a short cab ride or drive from Abu Dhabi City. There’s also a free bus, the Yas Express, that goes to the track, though service of the Yas Express is limited.
Commentary for the event is provided in both English and Arabic over one channel on 102.2 FM. You can either bring your own radio or buy one, but don’t forget your headphones! Abu Dhabi is a dry state and, as such, alcohol is only available in a limited number of locations.
Getting a ticket
As it is the last – and some may argue biggest – event in the Formula 1 season, tickets for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are a little more expensive than some of the others. Prices usually start at around £70 but they vary depending on whereabouts you want to be seated. To be part of the exclusive Paddock Club you’ll need to pay upwards of £3,000 per ticket.
It’s normal for all tickets to sell out, so if you’d like to be at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it’s best to book in advance, especially if you want one of the more luxury spots. You should also arrange to have tickets delivered to you, rather than waiting to collect them at the event. It will be hot and busy, so the last thing you’ll want to do is stand in a line for hours before you can go in.
You can order tickets through the official F1 website, though it’s possible to get them through other third-party retailers if you wish.
Spectacular Abu Dhabi
As the most richest city in the world, Abu Dhabi is the perfect place if you have money to burn. You don’t need a visa unless your trip will last more than 30 days and, if you travel in time for the Grand Prix, you can expect the temperature to be around 25-30°C during the day.
If you are looking to make your holiday in Abu Dhabi that extra bit special, there are plenty of high-end restaurants and hotels around the emirate for you to choose from. With spa facilities and some of the best customer service in the world, you are bound to enjoy your time in any of the spectacular hotels on offer.
During the Grand Prix itself, the best place to be is, of course, the exclusive Formula One Paddock Club. This is only accessible to those with the most premium tickets and ensures that guests get the ultimate experience. Aside from its open bar, you will also get visits to the pit lane and air-conditioned suites to watch the entire race from. For the ultimate experience, head to the Club’s rooftop lounge where you will be treated to panoramic views of the entire circuit.
Exploring Abu Dhabi
For those short on time in the emirate, Yas Island itself has plenty to attract visitors and all are just a short walk away from the circuit. There are several attractions such as the theme parks Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld, and also shopping centres like the Yas Mall.
Heading into Abu Dhabi city itself will allow you to experience some of the best restaurants in the region and allow you to get a true feeling of this beautiful cosmopolitan emirate. Once you have explored this area, you can experience the incredible sand dunes in Rub Al Khali desert or go to the town of Al Ain. Built on seven oases, it’s a popular tourist spot that has been lived in for more than 3,000 years.
Aside from hosting arguably the best Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar, Abu Dhabi has plenty on offer. From world-class restaurants and hotels to breathtaking views and displays of natural beauty, this spectacular emirate is the perfect place to plan the trip of a lifetime.