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Yas Marina Circuit: ‘extra-special’ live programme for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

We want to treat our fans to something extra special, says Richard Cregan

Image Credit: ARSHAD ALI/Gulf News Archive
Amr Diab
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: There are plenty of entertainment events lined up for motor sports enthusiasts at the Yas Marina Circuit for this weekend. This year’s new themed approach will be showcased in the Oases, giving each grandstand a unique entertainment area. There will also be special events to mark the fifth anniversary of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“As this year marks the fifth anniversary, we wanted to celebrate the occasion by creating a fresh, new, exciting entertainment offering, treating our fans to something extra-special,” said Richard Cregan, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.

“To reflect this, we have developed a great live entertainment programme of stage performances and roaming acts.”

The Main Oasis will have a contemporary Bedouin theme, balancing the rich heritage of Abu Dhabi and the UAE with the country’s contemporary cultural landscape and the modern design of Yas Marina Circuit.

Yas Marina Circuit will be bringing over world renowned Korean artist Yong Ho Ji to exhibit two of his tyre sculptures in the Main Oasis, besides creating a newly commissioned sculpture over the F1 weekend. The Main Oasis will also host the perennially popular Formula 1 driver autograph sessions, with all 11 teams scheduled to offer their fans the opportunity to get up close with their heroes.

The acts lined up to take the stage at the Main Oasis include Bull Funk Zoo, Video DJ Mo Tiger, Mugenko Taiko Drummers, songstress Kerrie Anne and performance artists Moto-Stomp, while ticketholders will also have access to an F1 Games Zone and a bumper car arena.

Capoeira artists, jugglers, acrobats, human statues and an acoustic band, will also roam the various Oasis areas.

The South Oasis, located in between the Marina and South Grandstands, will become South Beach for the duration of the F1 weekend. Two temporary beaches will be set up, with the deckchairs, cabañas and even a Tiki Coconut bar giving the whole area a vintage beach vibe. Adding to the fun will be Jenny Rossen, a sand sculptor, who will be creating a 7-8 tonne sandcastle installation with motorsport and F1 elements mixed in.

There will be plenty of sun-soaked entertainment on offer at the South Oasis, including a surf ride, beach football, a Beach Boys cover band and hula girls, as well as the driver autograph sessions for GP2 and GP3.

The theme for this year’s West Oasis is Automotion, with a number of luxury vehicles on display, including a Porsche 70th Anniversary stand. The West Oasis will also be the home of the world’s longest Fine Art print, created by official F1 Artist Mark Dickens on October 30 at Yas Marina Circuit’s Racing School Pit Lane. The world record attempt involved Mark and 60 students from Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University rolling inked-up tyres over a 150-metre long canvas in the form of a relay, ending up with a vibrantly colourful print that all F1 ticketholders will be able to view over the course of the race weekend.

This abundance of entertainment is in addition to the stellar line-up at this year’s after-race concerts, exclusive to F1 ticket holders, with musical superstars entertaining the crowds on four nights. A triple bill of Arabic superstars — Amr Diab, Elissa, and Hussain Al Jasmi — take the stage on Thursday, rap legend JAY Z on Friday, Muse on Saturday, while Depeche Mode close the weekend on Sunday.

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