10 things you will see at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2016

Noise, parties, sport and more things you need to know about F1 weekend Discuss this article

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10 Massive concerts
The Grand Prix rolling into town is an excuse for the biggest party weekend of the year in Abu Dhabi, with The Chemical Brothers, Lionel Richie and Rihanna headlining Yasalam concerts this time around. Prepare to watch ageing motorsport enthusiasts who have been buying branded motoring memorabilia trackside all day bopping away to dance tunes with teenage fans at their first-ever concert while lasers fire across the crowds as the big-name acts play their greatest hits.

9 Celebrities
On-stage is not the only place you’re likely to spot the rich and famous during F1 weekend. Clubs, parties, lounges and hotels roll out the red carpet for a non-stop procession of pop stars, DJs, drivers, hangers-on and enough minor celebs to fill a pit lane. Don’t be surprised if you spot the odd supermodel scoffing canapés at your favourite club and ex-footballers and their wives in the grandstand seats come race day...

8 Track action
With all the celeb-spotting and trying to work out if the leathery-looking old men in suits are multi-millionaires or billionaires you could forget there is actually some racing happening. Look away from hospitality lounges long enough to take in some of the sport and enjoy the world’s speediest cars handled by the world’s best drivers.

7 The hubbub
Be warned – F1 is noisy, hot and smelly. The glamour and razzmatazz of the celebrity circus that follows the Grand Prix circuit hides the truth of live motorsport, which is that it is basically the same as visiting a busy garage while listening to a recording of an angry swarm of hornets at deafening decibels. The closer to the track, the more exciting it gets, but this also raises your chances of tinnitus for the next week.

6 VIP wannabes
The competition to gain entry to the various VIP lounges, exclusive parties and expensive ticketed events across Abu Dhabi just got harder. Whether it is the trackside corporate areas or just the plusher corners of your usual weekend haunts, all of Abu Dhabi seems busier for a few days and the hum of people asking for some ticket upgrade, access pass or lifestyle favour or other is non-stop.

5 Half of Dubai
This is the one weekend a year that we’re never surprised to see Dubai friends turn up on our doorsteps. While entire clubs and lounges from up the road seem to pop up on the Abu Dhabi scene we also spy a few stalwart Dubaians humbly accepting that when it comes to a major musical, sporting and entertainment weekend, the capital knows how to throw a party.

4 Boat people
The pinnacle of a VIP F1 Weekend, of course, is the on-yacht party. Businessfolk and glamorous young things alike take standing on a boat and looking back from Yas Marina at the rest of us very seriously indeed. If you do manage to wangle yourself a spot on this prime party real estate remember to pout, prop sunglasses on head and act as though the whole shindig was organised just for you.

3 Beach gigs
If you want to escape the throng (not to mention expense) of VIP then look across Yas for some free fame-factor parties. Sean Paul, Nancy Ajram and Yeng Constantino are among the names carefully selected to please a diverse cross-section of the community.

2 Experts everywhere
There is nothing quite so dull as an ardent F1 fan explaining to the non-follower why this is the best sport in the world. You’ll find them discussing tyre pressure, lap times, pit stop tactics and complex engineering theory while standing in a line to ask a millionaire driver to sign the hat they just paid a wad of dirhams for. You’ll be astonished by how many friends know a lot about the sport and this weekend, they’re going to try and convert you.

1 Confused spectators
Look in the grandstands and you’ll spot just as many people who have no idea what is going on as those who do. They’ve either got no interest or are fans who rely on TV commentators to tell them what’s going on. Without context you’re just watching a blur of speed flash past every few minutes. Despite this, it could well be the most exciting thing to happen all year.

Will Milner is a regular contributor. He recommends ear plugs.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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