Motorsports in UAE
Motorsport culture and pastime has been present in the Middle East for some time. 1984 saw the sport professionalise with the forming of the FIA Middle East Championship and has been since hosted across the region including Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Cyprus, Oman, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has since grown in status with 1993 the Desert Challenge becoming the first FIA event held in the UAE to be awarded world status followed in 2004 with the inaugural Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Subsequent world status event held in the region also include, 2004 Jordan hosted a stage of the World Rally Championship and in 2009 the spotlight shone on the UAE again with the first Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
As next steps in the development of motorsports regionally, the FIA released FIA Middle East Strategy document “Driving Motorsport Forward Together” strategy. This outlined their mission; which was a dedication to promote the development of motorsport in the region with the vision being to create a sustainable Motorsport environment based on strong and effective ASN’s (National Sporting Authority) that have the support of all stakeholders. More importantly critical result areas were identified in the strategy document, those being: Greater grass roots participation, Creation of new regional competitions that meet the needs of the marketplace, and best practice for management and governance of the sport via ASN’s.
As a Circuit Operator and Stakeholder aligned with and supportive of the mission and vision, as well as dedicated to growing a sustainable motorsport community in the region; Yas Marina Circuit created the Yas Motor Racing Club as a way to contribute in a meaningful manner to the achievement of this strategy.