“A Five-Day Festival of On-Track, Off-Track and After-Race Entertainment not be missed!” Yas Marina Circuit
The final countdown is on for the biggest sporting event in the capital, the Formula 1 2019 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The five-day festival will take over Yas Island this coming weekend and this year will include National Day celebrations on 2nd December. Abu Dhabi is poised and ready to deliver yet another sensational event at Yas Marina Circuit.
British driver Lewis Hamilton has already claimed the World Drivers’ Championship for the second year running, clinching his sixth championship title at the US Grand Prix in Texas. Mercedes successfully defended the World Constructors’ Championship, securing the title for the sixth consecutive year at the Japanese Grand Prix in October. Despite the 2019 titles having already been decided, all the drivers will be determined to win the season finale race and stand on the Yas Marina Circuit winners podium.
Here’s anexpatabroad’s guide to the exciting 2019 F1 weekend ahead ……
On the track
The 11th Abu Dhabi Grand Prix also marks the season end of the 70th Formula One World Championship. Proceedings will start as usual on Thursday 28th November with the Pit Lane Walk from 11am until 4:15 pm. Available to three-day F1 ticket holders only, it’s a chance to take a sneak peek inside the garages, as the teams prepare for the final weekend and if you are lucky spot one of the drivers.
Friday sees the first day of F1 practice sessions at Yas Marina circuit from 1pm and 5pm. Final practice and qualifying will take place on Saturday afternoon at 2pm and 5pm respectively, the last being the all-important session that decides who will start in pole position for the final race of the 2019 calendar. Support race sessions will also be taking place – click HERE for the full daily schedule.
Sunday is Race Day! Official start time is 5pm. Be in your seats by 4.45pm to enjoy the pre-race customs of the UAE National anthem and Etihad Airways flyover. With five different grandstands as well as the Abu Dhabi Hill and hospitality options, there’s plenty of opportunities to watch the world’s only twilight Grand Prix race. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets click HERE for any last minute ticket availability and information.
Off the Track
The F1 fanzone will offer entertainment throughout the five-day festival. Local artists will provide live entertainment on the main stage and activities such as the laser escape room, F1 game zone and pampering stations will be positioned around the circuit as well as chill-out zones. New for 2019 is Fast and Curious, twenty-one food kiosks located in the F1 Fanzone and South Oasis, each one offering cuisine from a different F1 host city. There will also mobile kitchens in all areas for more food and beverage options.
Three day ticket holders can upgrade to a Super Parks Pass which includes unlimited access to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi & YasWaterworld between Thursday and Sunday. Up to four children (aged 12 and under) go FREE with three-day ticket holders if registered in advance. With the three-day Super Parks Pass, Kids Go Free extends to the three Yas Island Theme Parks – click HERE for more information and to register.
All F1 ticket holders receive a 50% discount on general admission to the Louvre Abu Dhabi between 28th November – 1st December on presentation of a F1 ticket. All ticket holders also have access to UAE National Day Celebrations on Monday 2nd December at the F1 Fanzone, Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi Hill and the track will be open from 3pm.
Need to Know
YasHUB app – Make sure you don’t miss any of the action on and off the track with the YasHUB app, the one-stop-guide to everything that’s happening with real time notifications to schedules, events, competitions etc. The interactive venue map offers a guide to Yas Marina Circuit with the location of grandstands, entertainment areas, parking, basic amenities and so much more – download it HERE.
Yas Pay – This year’s F1 event is cashless to improve the event experience – click HERE for more details about Yas Pay and where to top-up at the circuit.
Parking – Yas Mall is the parking hub for all ticket holders and FREE courtesy shuttles will run from Yas Mall to the circuit.
Taxis and Careem – There are two Taxi / Careem hubs with drop off / pick up points are located at gate 19 and red car parking.
The 2019 Yasalam after-race concert lineup brings together a line-up of American artists from different musical genres. Gracing the race weekend stage will be DJ and electronic dance music phenomenon Marshmello, platinum-selling rapper Travis Scott and alternative pop star Lana Del Ray. Popular Las Vegas rockers, The Killers are returning to the capital as race day headline act.
Famous for wearing his trademark helmet, Marshmello, one of the world’s biggest and most streamed DJ’s, will kick start this year’s musical line-up on Thursday evening. Friday night will see platinum-selling US rapper and hip-shop sensation Scott aka Jacques Berman Webster II take to the stage as part of his world tour that saw him perform in the NFL Super Bowl Half Time Show earlier in the year. Expect an explosive performance from Scott, as his shows are known for their high energy.
It’s the UAE debut for Del Ray who will bring her unique musical style that’s been described as both Hollywood sadcore and alternative pop influenced by opposite genres. With six albums under her belt her set list will be filled with a medley of past and present hits. We last saw The Killers in concert ten years ago at the Emirates Palace (time sure flies) and I’m excited to see them return to the capital at this year’s F1. The band, who performed at Glastonbury this year, are guaranteed to entertain the crowd with hits like Mr. Brightside, Somebody Told Me and When We Were Young to name a few.
You can upgrade any of your concert tickets to Golden Circle with the added benefits of the VIP entrance, front-row stage access and dedicated beverage points. Prices start from AED 195 for Marshmello, AED 295 for Travis Scott & Lana Del Rey and AED 395 for The Killers or save 20% with a four-day package for AED 945 – click HERE or telephone 800 YAS (927).
A-List after-parties are a F1 weekend essential and Abu Dhabi provides non-stop action on and off the track. Yas Marina (see below) is the best place to enjoy the party whether on-board one of the superyachts or one of the surrounding bars and restaurants. Parties go from day to night under the recently re-branded W Abu Dhabi (formerly The Yas Hotel) and you will probably spot a celebrity or two!
The biggest after-race party, The Amber Lounge, is back in the capital on Saturday and Sunday at the purpose built venue in the grounds of the Yas links Golf club. The ultimate star-studded after party, that follows the F1 races around the world, will feature UK dance music duo Sigma. Be prepared to splash some cash, expect star-studded entertainment, 6L methuselah bottles of champagne, celebrities and F1 drivers in the most glamorous setting. Two-day packages are also available onboard the Amber Lounge Celebrity Yacht with all-inclusive hospitality as well as celebrities and F1 drivers popping by to join in the fun – visit amber-lounge.com/abu-dhabi/ to find out all the information and prices.
Party on board the exclusive sixty metre St. David Yacht moored in Yas Marina. The yacht offer three decks to watch the on-track action as well as VIP hospitality and by night a private nightclub with a state of the art audio-visual system. Candypants is hosting the Trackside Mega Yacht, a 12-hour indulgent food and beverage experience with track and marina views from noon to midnight for AED 1,990 per person. For those with less stamina join the after party from 8pm to midnight for AED 499 per person.
Guests can experience the best hospitality on Yas Island at the newly rebranded W Abu Dhabi. Part of Marriott International, the W Abu Dhabi is the only hotel in the world located over a Grand Prix track. Okoko will be hosting the official Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pool Party at the Wet Deck on the hotel’s rooftop with a line-up of world class DJs including Sandy Rivera, Sister Bliss (formerly of Faithless) and Claptone – click HERE for all the race weekend action at the hotel. Nigerian singer MKO will be entertaining guests at Annex, the standalone nightclub at The Abu Dhabi Edition, with his Afro-pop vibes combining R&B, hip-hop, pop and African music.
Yas Marina’s eleven licensed dining and nightlife outlets will be serving brunches and a nightly line up of live music and performances from Thursday 28th November until Sunday 1st December. Enjoy brunch packages and live music all weekend long at Stars ‘N’ Bars American themed Funch’ed, Mr Miyagi’s race weekend Wok & Roll Brunch, Diablitos Mediterranean-inspired brunch and international flavours at Iris. Choose from regular brunch or brunch, race tickets and after-race concert access packages at Aquarium. For all the weekend brunch and live entertainment options click HERE.
Cipriani Yas Island will be serving culinary classics for lunch and a la carte dinner from Harry’s Bar in Venice. Enjoy live DJ performances every night from 11pm onwards. All bookings are for a limited period of 2-hours on the table with a minimum spend of AED 1,400 per guest. Want something more low-key? Grab a burger and craft beer at the Black Tap pop-up, sample British fare at The Scene gastropub or try some authentic Lebanese cuisine at new venue Zahr El-Laymoun.
Table bookings are advised and minimum spend restrictions will be in place, don’t expect to just waltz straight in without dropping some serious cash or having a prior reservation. Dubai’s super-club, BASE, will host an Abu Dhabi pop-up above Cipriani with a daily line-up of the best names in international music. Tyga will be performing on Saturday and Trey Songz on Sunday (Friday yet tbc). Casa de Cuba is offering Social Pit Lane by Candypants with a four-hour all-inclusive brunch every day from Thursday to Sunday. Click HERE for all the race week happenings at Yas Marina.
American RnB singers NE-YO and Usher will be performing at the UAE’s biggest indoor nightclub, MAD on Yas Island on Saturday November 30th and Sunday 1st December respectively – find out more HERE
Now we will just have to wait and see what the 11th anniversary weekend brings. Will Hamilton continue his good form and win yet another season finale race in Abu Dhabi? Who will wow the crowds with the best concert performance? Who will be papped partying on a superyacht? All I know is that it’s a great time to be in the capital 🙂
All views are my own © Jo Brett 2019. All rights reserved. Additional information and images used with courtesy of the respective venues. Lewis Hamilton car image used with courtesy of www.instagram.com/lewishamilton/