Manama: Bahrainis who have been praying for a Formula One race on their home soil this year welcomed on Friday the decision by the Formula One's governing body, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), to give Bahrain the green light to stage its grand prix over the last week-end of October.
Shaikh Fawaz Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, the president of the Information Affairs Authority, reported the decision on his Twitter account.
"Mabrook! (Congratulations!) Bahrain will host F1", he wrote. He later added that the FIA had chosen October 30 for the race.
Bahrain was scheduled to hold the season opener in March, but the race was postponed after the country went through a period of political turmoil and unrest.
With FIA insisting on giving Bahrain a chance to host the race later in the year, massive campaigns were held both in Bahrain and abroad for and against the teams going to the Sakhir circuit.
Those who opposed the race have argued that Bahrain had failed to uphold human rights and must not be allowed to host an international event.
However, several Bahrainis have been campaigning for holding the race in Bahrain, citing improved security conditions and highlighting cultural and economic benefits for the common people.
"We hail the decision because Bahrain, the Middle East home of motor sports, deserves to have its regular race," Maha Al Dossari said. "Regardless of the many and complex political layers, Bahrainis, Gulf nationals and foreigners living in the region have grown accustomed to the charms of the Formula One. It is much more than just a race," she said.
Maha, an IT engineer, had set up a Facebook account, BahrainwantsF1, that garnered supports and positive comments from more than 1,640 users.
"As young people in Bahrain and beyond, we want to show the world that we cared about Formula One events here. I am deeply grateful to all those who wholeheartedly and passionately supported us and all the other campaigns to ensure Bahrain hosted its F1 race," she said.