Opened in 2009 specifically to host the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Yas Marina Circuit is one of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic venues. The state-of-the-art track is a favourite with F1 drivers and fans, with the corners unique and the race’s unusual dusk start time making for a fantastic, bespoke and unmissable racing spectacle.
Located around the beautiful Yas Marina, the circuit has five main stands for spectators, to ensure none of the action on the track is missed, as well as the Abu Dhabi Hill, where fans can view the racing seated on the track’s grassy banks. Corporate hospitality including the Formula 1 Paddock Club is also available for those who want to enjoy the racing in ultimate style.
The F1 season has only just kicked off again, so the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will return to Yas Marina Circuit at the end of the year. But does that mean the track is closed until the end of November? Thankfully not – what a terrible waste of a facility that would be. Since the first UAE Grand Prix here in 2009, the circuit has been used in a number of ways, including for its weekly TrainYAS event. Every Tuesday from 6pm the track is open to the public – for free – to walk, jog, run or cycle on the very tarmac itself. There are free water stations and music pumping to keep you motivated. GoYAS every Wednesday is the exact same event, but for women only. For both days you’ll need to register either on the night or online, at www.yasmarinacircuit.com.
In addition to the extensive year-round programme of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences including Drag and Yas Track Nights, the impressive circuit has emerged as a thriving hub for entertainment and community events. As the region’s most technologically advanced facility, the circuit is also a leading MICE venue, regularly hosting a diverse range of corporate meetings, conferences and events. Whether you want to experience the thrill of karting at the Kartzone, driving an Aston Martin GT4 at over 200km/hour on an F1 circuit, work towards your racing license at the Yas Racing School, get fit at StartYAS, TrainYas or GoYas, participate in one of the many sporting events, or simply catch up with friends at Yas Central, Yas Marina Circuit never switches off. Time Out takes a closer look at what the iconic Abu Dhabi landmark has on offer...
Throughout the year, the Yas Kartzone is open for fun and friendly competition, where kids and adults can enjoy a high-energy karting experience. Children aged eight to 12 years old can take part with Kids Karts while Senior Karts are available for those 13 years old and above. The fleet can reach up to 70km/hr, so it’s the perfect introduction.
The Drag Racing Centre
The Yas Drag Racing Centre is the home of drag in the Middle East. Regularly used by car manufacturers to test the speed of their cars or hold an event before the launch of a new car or motorcycle, the Drag Racing Centre ensures a memorable experience.
The centre is dedicated to growing a sustainable motorsport community in the UAE. With its state-of-the-art racing facilities, top instructors, and extensive annual programme of professional and amateur events, YMC fosters an understanding and interest in the sport by providing a platform for drivers to learn, develop and practice.
Yas Racing School
This exceptional facility offers a variety of driver and passenger experiences as well as driving courses, all managed by expert motorsport instructors and is the first step to getting your racing career on the road.
Hit the track in a choice of cars including an array of Mercedes-AMGs, an Aston Martin GT4, Mercedes AMG Formula 1 safety car, Yas Radical SST, Formula Yas 3000, Toyota 86 Drift Car or a Chevrolet Camaro. Before jumping into the vehicle, drivers receive a technical briefing from a racing coach. They then get into the driver’s seat, learn the correct racing line and practice handling the complex turns of the circuit. The Passenger experience consists of being driven by an expert Yas Racing School professional racing driver.
Private Driver Tuition
Even top-flight international racing drivers have coaches to help them develop. Working with a qualified driving coach, your skills will improve rapidly whether you are still developing an understanding of the racing line or honing advanced techniques like “heel-and-toe” or practice starts. The training can take place in a variety of cars and includes programs like the FIA Race Licence Assessment Course, and the First Gear Programme for young drivers.
Stay in shape at Yas Marina Circuit
StartYAS and TrainYAS
With more than 3,000 particpants each week, StartYAS and TrainYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife welcomes participants of all fitness levels and speeds to get on the track every Sunday and Tuesday. Whether you’re a serious runner, a keen cyclist, or simply wanting to take a sunset stroll with the family, StartYAS and TrainYAS are weekly events that allow the public access to the track as a unique, safe and family-friendly training ground. For those wanting to mix their training up, the events also include yoga and zumba classes for a fee as well as free bootcamps by Haddin’s Fitness. The weekly sessions are free for for all runners, walkers and cyclists. For those without one, bicycles are available for hire. Clubs, friends and families; the fast, and even the not so fast, are all welcome to take part.
GoYAS by Daman’s Activelife and under the patronage of Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy is an initiative for women to engage in fun, healthy fitness activities in complete privacy every Wednesday evening. Ladies are welcomed to walk, run and cycle Yas Marina Circuit’s F1 track or take part in group fitness activities including bootcamp, pilates, zumba and yoga. All activities are supervised by an internationally certified female trainer. GoYAS by Daman’s Activelife is a ladies-only initiative and closed to the general public to ensure the privacy of participants. All staff are female.
TriYAS by Daman’s Activelife is a triathalon held at Yas Marina Circuit and this year a record number of first-time triathletes took part. The 6th annual TriYAS took place on Friday February 27, 2016. This is the UAE’s largest amateur triathlon staged completely on the Formula 1 Eithad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuit and the focus is to encourage first-timers to try a triathlon.
Coming up at Yas Marina Circuit
ActionHA on Yas Island
MBC and Yas Island are bringing another hot new event to Yas Marina Circuit, on Friday May 6.
ActionHA claims it will be a "jam-packed" festival featuring everything from hip-hop, pop, comedy, races, magic and drag racing. Also featuring will be exclusive performances from music stars, including Ali El Sayed, Maya Diab and Saad Il Mjared.
If that's not enough to get your flag waving, alongside the entertainment and shows lined up, ActionHA ticket holders will also be able to see all the drag and drifting excitement taking place on the track throughout the day – a great slice of hot motorsport action for you to enjoy before the weather starts to burn you as much as the rubber on the track.
Whether you know your big end from your hubcap or not, this is a chance to get up close with some top motorsport action, before November rolls around again.
Dhs150 regular admission, Dhs300 VIP. Gates open at 5pm onwards, East Gate at Yas Marina Circuit .
2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The 60,000 capacity 2015 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 was the most successful to date on many levels and sold out for the seventh consecutive year. As well as record levels of traditional media engagement, Yas Marina Circuit’s social media footprint registered on a global scale. The hashtag ‘#AbuDhabiGP’ trended number five worldwide on Twitter on Race Day, while recording 3.3 billion Twitter impressions over the Formula 1 weekend – 74 percent higher than last year’s 1.3 billion. These numbers are not just new records for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but also for the F1 in general.
This year the event also has the distinction of hosting the GP2 and GP3 races as the official 2016 support races. As well as this range of on-track entertainment, F1 fans will experience unrivalled off-track entertainment, which will include four headline concerts, but we’ll get to that in November.
Looking for tickets already? Yas Marina Circuit has recently announced F1 weekend tickets are now on sale. The sooner you buy, the better the price you pay say organisers, with this year’s new dynamic purchasing offers just introduced. This year the event is looking to reward those Formula 1 fans who buy their tickets early. And their message is as clear as it is compelling: ‘Buy early for the best prices’.
Those booking before May 31 will be eligible for a massive 30 percent discount – the largest offered to date. While people buying between June 1 and July 31 will be offered a 20 percent discount. Corporate clients will also be rewarded with discounts for early booking of the circuit’s wide range of hospitality solutions available during race weekend.
F1 tickets are available online at www.yasmarinacircuit.com and through the Yas Marina Circuit Call Centre (800 927) or +971 (0) 2 659 9800, as well as through all Etihad Shops and Virgin Megastores, Yas Central Express stand at Yas Mall, and through the YasHUB smartphone app and its Facebook shop: www.facebook.com/yasmarinacircuit.