F1, The Place To Mix Business And Pleasure
For all businesses, relationships are crucial to success. Whilst corporate hospitality is considered a luxury for many, it is a tried and tested way to maintain customer loyalty. Prevalent throughout the world, corporate entertaining is closely associated with large sporting events like tennis, rugby, horse racing, and Formula 1TM.
Since the inaugural race in 2009, the Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has continued to attract companies looking to interact with their various stakeholders in a relaxed environment.
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has purchased tickets each year in the Premium Category-1 areas (Al Jood and Al Dhiyafa), as well as a selection in The Paddock Club. The tickets are utilised to meet a range of the bank's business objectives, including: guest/staff rewards; guest hospitality; and, customer relations.
"Hospitality is at the heart of the bank's engagement.” commented Bassem El Boustany, a Project Development Officer in the Corporate Communication Department at NBAD. “F1 is the best, compared to all other events and races. The event is seamless and our sponsorship manager often goes beyond the call of duty to accommodate our guest’s needs."
"2009 was history making for the UAE. The race gathered people and business entities from all over the world; it has such great grandeur. From our perspective, other events are not as impactful. F1 has a prestige of its own. Our main emphasis is hospitality, and the networking at the event comes to support it," continued Bassem.
Whilst corporate entertainment takes place across a variety of areas at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the greatest number of corporate ticket purchases are made in Al Dhiyafa and Al Jood - the Premium Category-1 areas.
“The majority of our tickets are purchased in the Al Jood and Al Dhiyafa areas as they attract a high-class audience of entertainment seekers, and these are the people I want to be networking with,” said Michael Hariz, founder and Managing Director of HME Media. “It provides a great business opportunity for us.“
Michael continued, “We have actually increased the number of tickets we purchase each year, as we have a huge success rate of converting prospects into clients. It is a great place to entertain and enjoy yourself.”
Premium Category-1 tickets offer three-day access to the race, air-conditioned lounges with food and beverage service, balcony seating, complimentary parking, as well as after race concert access. Yas Marina Circuit also provides options to further tailor these ticket packages, with add-ons such as exclusive access to the Amber Lounge or, for thrill-seeking guests, tickets to Ferrari World.
"Both Category-1 areas provide a hassle-free atmosphere that allows guests to traverse easily from a prime viewing area to a cool comfortable suite, for refreshments and to do a little business,” said Steven Umfreville, Commercial Director at Yas Marina Circuit. “What the race offers is three full days of entertainment, giving companies valuable extended periods of face-to-face time with their guests. The Al Jood and Al Dhiyafa areas in particular, give companies flexible solutions for corporate hospitality.”
“We have numerous companies that contact us well before tickets go on sale trying to place orders. For many, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has become a permanent fixture on their corporate entertainment calendar,” Steven continued.
The Al Dhiyafa and Al Jood areas require no minimum ticket purchase, allowing businesses to purchase to exact requirements.
At 4,250 AED each, Al Dhiyafa - Premium Category-1 tickets are still available in the North Grandstand, located at the hairpin turn that leads into the start of the 1.2km straight. Tickets are also available in the West Grandstand, situated at the end of the 1.2km straight, providing panoramic views of the start/finish area. The Main Grandstand, in closest proximity to the Pit Lane and the start/finish line, only a small number of tickets remain.
For companies looking for a private area to entertain guests, a small selection of Marina Grandstand Boxes remain available. These suites include a private balcony, full food and beverage offerings, a pre-race three-course meal, entry to Thursday’s pit lane walk, and the boxes can be bespoke branded.
Yas Marina Circuit offers a dedicated service for corporate sales purchases. Companies interested in further corporate ticketing information can call +971 2659 9393.