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A Guide to the Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

21 Oct 2019

Get set for a turbo-charged weekend as the final F1™ weekend approaches.

Now in its eleventh year, the Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a finale to remember under the lights. 

This season-ending showdown is a festive affair, with celebrities, musicians, and sports personalities all flocking to Abu Dhabi to take in the vibrant atmosphere of the world’s only F1™ twilight race.

From hotel deals and packages to the best grandstands for catching all the action, make the most of this F1™ finale with our expert guide.

Travel basics

The capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates, Abu Dhabi is situated on the coast of the Arabian Gulf.

A modern and cosmopolitan city, Abu Dhabi is best known as the cultural capital of the UAE. Abu Dhabi is home to artistic achievements such as The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and the Qasr Al Hosn.

However, cultural sights are not the only attractions in Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina Circuit is hallowed ground for race enthusiasts. Thrill-seekers will find plenty of engaging activities throughout the Grand Prix™ weekend.

As a hot tourist destination, Abu Dhabi scores top marks on numerous safety indexes. For tourists arriving to the city for the Formula 1™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, safety should not be an issue. And with the majority of the population being expatriates, tourists will feel welcome.

Arabic is the official language of Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE, although English is widely spoken thanks in part to its large expat population.

Abu Dhabi’s sub tropical climate boasts year-round sunshine, making it the perfect winter getaway for when the weather outside is frightful.

Travelers visiting Abu Dhabi for race weekend can fly into Abu Dhabi International Airport as this international hub offers flights from more than 90 destinations, including North America and Australia. 

Another option is to fly into Dubai International Airport, located roughly one hour north of Abu Dhabi.

The venue

Home to the only day-night race in the Formula One™ circuit, Yas Marina Circuit is one of the most technologically advanced F1™ tracks in the world. Since being unveiled in 2009, Yas Marina Circuit has hosted the season finale race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Situated on Yas Island and designed by famed circuit architect Hermann Tilke, the Yas Marina Circuit is a 5.5-km track that guarantees close competitive racing. Its scenic waterfront setting and diverse elements rival other lauded racetracks like Monaco and Singapore.

Other interesting circuit features include:

  • The longest straight in Formula One
  • Over 70 garages in two pit buildings
  • A unique pit lane exit that passes underneath the circuit
  • The only track to feature covered grandstand seating
  • Designed with six different configurations for different racing series

Avoid missing any of the on-track action by situating yourself either at the South Grandstand, Main Grandstand, or the West Grandstand. These selected seats provide guests with premium viewing options of the thrilling action as drivers interweave through the circuit.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts November 28 and runs until December 1. Book your tickets early to get in on all the action.

Getting around

Yas Island is well served by numerous modes of transport. Ride-sharing programs like Uber and Careem also make your commute to and from Yas Island easy and affordable.

Taxis throughout Abu Dhabi are plentiful and reasonably priced. A taxi ride from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Yas Island will take approximately 10 minutes. From the city centre, expect a 25-minute journey. You can book a taxi service through the Abu Dhabi Taxi app or by phone through the TransAD hotline 600 535353.

Public transport is also available, although the journey is considerably longer. While bus services are cheap to use, numerous transfers will result in a longer commute.

If you’re traveling by car, Yas Island is situated 10 minutes away from Abu Dhabi International Airport. There are many car rental services available ranging from affordable sedans to luxurious SUVs.

Your Premier Inn Reception Team can also eliminate the hassle of commuting by reserving you a taxi. Simply tell the front desk reception where you’re going and they’ll take care of the rest.

The Premier Inn, in both the Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Abu Dhabi Capital Centre locations, features a free shuttle service to Yas Island. Both services operate during the Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but timings and drop-off locations are determined by the race organisers and, as such, differ from current advertised times. 

Off-track events

Racing enthusiasts will find plenty of distractions in and around the race track. Off the track, Yas Island offers up enough thrills to get your motor running.

Ferrari World, for example, is the world’s first and only Ferrari-branded theme park. This Ferrari-inspired experience is also the largest indoor theme park in the world. Notable high-adrenaline rides include state-of-the-art simulators and the Formula Rossa roller coaster, the world’s fastest rollercoaster.

After the checkered flag is waved, motorsport fans can take to the track and experience the high octane circuit for themselves. The Yas Driving Experience provides racing fans the opportunity to drive around the track in some of the world’s most impressive race cars.

If careening through tight turns and the excitement of drifting isn’t for you, there’s also Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi. This waterpark includes 45 rides, slides, and family-friendly attractions, making it the perfect way for families to escape the desert heat.

When the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ends, the biggest names in music take the center stage. Performing in this year’s after-race concerts are global music superstars like Travis Scott, Marshmello, Lana Del Rey, and The Killers.


Start your race weekend right by staying at the right hotel in the most convenient location.

The perfect spot to catch all the on-track and off-track action, the Premier Inn at Abu Dhabi International Airport is just a stone’s throw away from Yas Island. And with daily, 24-hour free shuttles to Yas Island, you’ll never have to worry about missing any of the action.

A show-stopping stay, each room at this modern Abu Dhabi airport hotel features a super-comfy Hypnos bed, an en-suite bathroom, and free Wi-Fi. Best-in-class amenities like a pool, gym, licensed bar, and restaurant will make your stay that much more memorable.

Premier Inn is also conveniently located in Abu Dhabi Capital Centre. A stylish space, each room is designed to ensure a good night’s sleep is guaranteed during your travels. On site, kick back and relax at all-day dining restaurant, Nuevo, or grab a drink with friends in Lounge One. 

Premier Inn Abu Dhabi Capital Centre is also a short 25-minute drive away from Yas Island, allowing guests to enjoy all the adrenaline-packed activities at the Formula One™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.