From ancient traditions to modern skyscrapers, the capital of the United Arab Emirates offers an exciting mix of activities away from the track. Start planning your trip to the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 29 November to 1 December at Yas Marina Circuit.
- Visas: Citizens from the GCC countries are granted visa-free entry to the UAE, while those from a further 60 countries get a free Visa on Arrival for either 30 or 90 days. Everyone else needs to apply for a visa in advance via a local consulate.
- Currency: Emirate Dirham, or AED. The dirham is fixed to the $USD at a rate of 3.67. You can pay for most items with a card, but it’s always worth bringing along some cash and ATMs are easy to find. Tipping is not expected, but adding 10-15% to your bill for good service is common.
- Language: Arabic, but English is widely spoken, especially in the service sector and at Yas Marina Circuit.
- Law & Order: Visitors to the UAE should be aware of – and always abide by – the country’s strict laws, which are especially strict when it comes to displays of public affection, drunken behavior, dressing immodestly, using illegal drugs, criticizing UAE’s government & soliciting for escorts, among other areas.
- Time Zone: UTC/GMT +4 hours
- In an Emergency: Dial 999 for Police, 998 for Ambulance, 997 for Fire.
- Power Sockets: Type C, D & G. European plugs should work in the UAE, but it’s always safer to carry a good quality international adaptor.
- Weather: The weather in Abu Dhabi is sunny and hot all year round, with very little rainfall. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix falls during the start of the mild winter months. Daytime temperatures average 30°C (86°F), falling to a low around 20°C (68°F) at night.
Arrival & Getting Around
The closest airport to Yas Marina Circuit is Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Just 10km from the circuit, AUH is the home base of Etihad Airways and offers connections to all corners of the globe. Even more flight connections can be found at Dubai International Airport (DXB), home of Emirates, which is less than 100km from Yas Marina.
Depending on where you’ve decided to stay, the best ways to get to the track are to take a local taxi, drive yourself (hire cars and petrol are both cheap in the UAE) or take public transport – local buses travel between the city centre and Yas Island on race weekend. More information: 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Getting Around Guide.
Where to Stay
The best place to soak up the atmosphere of the final race on the calendar is on Yas Island, within walking distance of the circuit. F1 Experiences offers accommodation at the iconic Yas Hotel overlooking the circuit on race weekend. Alternatively, you may choose to stay downtown (near the Corniche Boulevard is a good area, see below) and commute approximately 30 minutes to and from the circuit each day. Coach transfers are offered for F1 Experiences hotel guests staying off Yas Island. Add accommodation to your Official Ticket Package today.
Top 5 Things to do in Abu Dhabi
Stroll along the Corniche
The Corniche is an 8km boulevard of beaches, cafés, restaurants and hotels that forms the epicenter of city life in Abu Dhabi. Take a walk, hire a bicycle or go swimming at one of the many beaches along the Corniche, all of which have blue-flag status and lifeguards on duty; choose from free beaches or paid “family beaches,” which prohibit single males from entering. Find a table at a beachside restaurant or café for views of the sunset, or head to the nearby Observation Deck at 300 on Level 74 of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers for an incredible panorama from the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi. You’ll also find Abu Dhabi’s oldest building nearby. Qasr Al Hosn is a historic fort and watchtower that dates from the 18th century.
Get your art fix at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Escape the scorching daytime heat with a visit to the newly-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first branch of the famous art museum to open outside of France. Housed in a stunning low-slung building in the emerging Saadiyat Cultural District, the museum embraces an openness of cultures and thus features a dizzying array of art and cultural artefacts from all over the world, including many significant pieces on loan from the original Louvre in Paris. Entry costs 60 AED ($16 USD), while visitors aged 13-22 get half price entry. It’s open 10am to 8pm from Saturday to Wednesday and from 10am to 10pm on Thursday and Friday. Closed on Mondays.
Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
A modern masterpiece completed in 2008, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest and most impressive mosques. Capable of holding up to 40,000 worshippers, even non-believers will be awed by the sheer scale and architectural might of this colossal white building. Entry is free and the mosque is open daily from 9am to 10pm (4:30pm to 10pm on Fridays). Sunset is the best time to visit.
Go on a Desert Safari
Escape the city to experience the vast desert areas surrounding Abu Dhabi and partake in activities such as dune walks, camel trekking, falconry shows and dune bashing. If you can spare the whole day, the trip to Liwa is well worthwhile. This secluded desert oasis is the gateway to Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass and home to the 300-meter Tel Moreeb sand dune. If you can only spare a half day, various tour companies run sunset tours closer to Abu Dhabi involving 4x4 dune bashing, followed by dinner and cultural entertainment.
Hit the Water
From sedate sunset cruises to adrenaline-fueled speedboat rides, not to mention kayaking and paddle boarding, there’s plenty of ways to experience the calm, clear waters of the Persian Gulf. Take the ferry from Jebel Dhanna to Sir Bani Yas Island, home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, or further afield to Dalma Island to learn more about the ancient traditions of pearl farming. The Yellow Boats run different tours taking in some of the city’s best sights, including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Corniche, while Jailboot does fishing tours, island hopping and more.
Official Ticket Packages to the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 29 November to 1 December include select grandstands and VIP hospitality aboard our trackside yacht, the St. David, plus access to the Champions Club and Formula 1 Paddock Club. Legends of the sport, including 4-time Formula 1 World Champion, Alain Prost, will also be joining F1 Experiences for guest appearances.