Emirates Motorsport Organisation will be overseeing more than 420 safety marshals on site at this year’s race – with Emiratis making up more than 20 per cent of this total

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE 11 December, 2020: As recent events during the 2020 season have proved, safety marshals are an essential part of the F1® machinery and these volunteers do a sterling job at races around the world.

With the turn of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to take centre stage coming very soon, the Emirates Motorsport Organisation (EMSO) will this year be providing Yas Marina Circuit with 420 marshals including various speciality groups that work around the Circuit with teams such as Race Control, medical team, pitlane marshals, scrutineers, recovery, rescue, intervention and flag marshals.

“The marshals are the unsung heroes of every racing weekend anywhere in the world, and their role is crucial in the safe running of any event,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the EMSO and FIA Vice President for Sport. “We are proud to have a consolidated team of experienced marshals that work with us year-round, and many of them have been with us since the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 11 years ago.”

“Marshals are absolutely essential, it is as simple as that. Without officials and marshals ensuring the FIA safety standards are met, there cannot be successful racing. The sport keeps becoming more and more professional, which translates into standards constantly becoming higher and higher, and safety is always the top priority.”

With the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix representing the UAE on the global stage, Mohammed Ben Sulayem says it’s important that Emiratis are at the heart of EMSO’s work. Of this year’s total, more than 20 per cent of all marshals on site are UAE Nationals and he is proud that Emiratis make up the largest demographic bloc among the 35 nationalities supporting this year’s race.

“We are very lucky to count a large number of Emirati committed motorsports enthusiasts that generously volunteer and contribute with their time and efforts to make our Grand Prix fantastic. Many of them are amongst our most experienced officials and hold key roles around the circuit,” he explained.

Training staff to the exacting standards of world-class motorsport events is something the organisation takes great pride in and is a constant priority at EMSO. While general training takes place all-year round and covers both theory and practical exercises, specific preparations for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix start in June every year with senior official nominations, planning and meetings, and then the onsite training sessions usually start as early as August and run until the event.

The advent of the global pandemic has seen EMSO generate a new dynamic for training with the development of more online training modules and assessments, but in reality, the organisation was quite advanced with the technology even before the pandemic struck.

“Almost 10 years ago, in 2011, the Emirates Motorsports Organization (EMSO) launched the Motorsports Knowledge Institute (MKI) as a dedicated arm for education, training and research, which focuses in providing motorsport online training and certification. So, we have always been avant-garde with the creation and implementation of new and more effective learning platforms. EMSO, through the MKI, have even been instrumental in the training of officials across the region and countries all over the world, from South America to Europe, and Africa,” he added.

As the sole representative of the FIA – the sport’s governing body – EMSO governs all competitive events forming the UAE motorsport calendar, and covering disciplines such as circuit racing, rallying, drag racing, and motocross.

To learn more about volunteering with EMSO, please visit