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ABU DHABI’S HOSTING OF F1 A SOURCE OF NATIONAL DAY PRIDE, SAYS CIRCUIT BOSS

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, says Abu Dhabi’s staging of Formula 1® racing reflects the country’s progress over past 44 years. 

The role of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in kicking off this year’s 44th UAE’s National Day celebrations is a source of great pride and significance for Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.

This weekend’s 2015 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX has never in its seven-year history fallen so close in the calendar to the UAE’s National Day on December 2.

Mr Al Ameri, now in his second year as CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, says the link is significant in marking the positive impact the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is having on the UAE’s standing on the world stage and is a fitting way to start the National Day festivities.

“I think this year will always be one of the most special for me,” said Mr Al Ameri. “It’s source of double celebration – the anniversary of my country’s formation falling so close to the incredible sporting event that everyone at Yas Marina Circuit works so hard towards every year.

“As a motorsport fan and UAE citizen, I’m so proud that Abu Dhabi is now synonymous with Grand Prix racing – one of the most iconic and historic occasions in the world of sport.

“The success of the 2015 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX in attracting a capacity crowd of 60,000 people from more than 170 different countries who can also enjoy musical performances by the biggest acts in the world is testament to how rapidly the UAE has developed in its 44 years. It’s a source of great pride and one befitting a period when the country reflects on what it has achieved.”

Mr Al Ameri said it is crucial that visitors during Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend were given a sense of what National Day means to its citizens.

The North Oasis, one of four Oasis areas located around the circuit providing themed activities and entertainment, gives visitors the chance to learn about the history and heritage behind the UAE’s National Day celebration.

The Culture & Heritage Village features live cookery stations, local entertainment, traditional arts and crafts, Majlis-style chill out areas, and a chance to see a falcon, the national bird of the UAE, up close.

“We want visitors to leave with a real sense of the heritage and culture we are celebrating in the UAE and what lies behind our proud history,” said Mr Al Ameri. “That’s why this year, we placed a lot of emphasis on providing a wide range of UAE-themed activities that people of all ages and nationalities can enjoy.”

With global sporting attention shifting to Abu Dhabi for a weekend, Mr Al Ameri revealed the pressure to continually improve the Yas Marina Circuit experience during race weekend.

“We are acutely aware that we are representing the UAE to millions of people, and never at a more important time than in the run up to National Day,” he said. “The UAE is a country that seeks continual progress, to improve year on year. We have to reflect that across all facets of what we provide, from ticket allocation to logistics to the entertainment provided.”

Significant improvements this year include expanded ticket allocation to include day passes, new corporate hospitality packages, more features on the YasHUB smartphone app and expanded Oasis area entertainment options, he said. 

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