Start planning your trip to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina circuit. The season-ending race takes place this year on November 25-27, 2016.
- Passport holders from the following countries can enter Dubai or Abu Dhabi without the need to arrange a tourist visa in advance, a free entry visa will be granted upon arrival: Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican State.
- Everyone else coming to Abu Dhabi or Dubai for a F1 holiday will need to apply for a tourist visa prior to their trip. Passengers with Etihad Airways can often arrange their visas through the airline, and likewise many 3, 4 and 5 star hotels as well as travel agencies can request a tourist visa on your behalf. Alternatively, allow time to apply for your tourist visa at your local UAE Embassy. More information is here.
About UAE & Abu Dhabi
- The United Arab Emirates borders Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar. Its population of 9.2 million is predominately expatriate, with only 1.4 million of its inhabitants being Emirati citizens. The UAE is comprised of seven emirates (similar to principalities); Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each is ruled by a hereditary Emir, with one of the seven elected to be the President of the UAE. Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s capital.
- With just 420,000 Emirati citizens living in an expat-heavy city of 1.5 million inhabitants, each resident’s net worth works out at an unbelievable $17 million here. This is a super-luxury city and the Abu Dhabi development boom shows no signs of abating. The Yas Marina Circuit, the Ferrari theme park and both a Louvre and a Guggenheim Museum scheduled within the next few years are just a few of the attractions that will keep drawing tourism to the island.
- Abu Dhabi has been voted the world’s safest holiday destination twice, and the UAE is widely considered to be among the safest places in the world to visit as a tourist. Tourists are rarely caught up in violent crime since the city has a strong police presence and imposes very serious penalties for theft and assault. Women travelling alone may sometimes receive unwanted attention from taxi drivers or on the streets, which is normally harmless. Dressing modestly will help avoid bothersome attention from men, as will sticking to hotel beaches (not the public ones) and dining in the ‘Family Room’ at restaurants if eating alone.
- The currency in Abu Dhabi is the Emirate Dirham (AED). Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are easy to find. If you are carrying foreign currency, your best bet is to change at a bank, which will give a better exchange rate than money changers at your hotel, the airport or in shopping centres. The Dirham is pegged at a rate of 3.67 to the USD.
Language & Culture
- The UAE is officially Islamic, and Islam is widely practised though non-Islamic faiths are tolerated so long as they do not interfere with Islam. Sharia Law is a main source of legislation in the UAE. The holy day in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Emirates is Friday, and the call to prayer is transmitted through loudspeakers on mosque minarets five times a day.
- Arabic is the official language of the Emirates, though English is widely spoken – especially in cosmopolitan cities like Abu Dhabi which is made up of 80% expatriates. Abu Dhabi’s culture shifted dramatically when ruler Sheikh Zayed died in 2004 and his son took over. Lifting the ban on land sales to foreigners and easing alcohol prohibitions are two notable changes brought in that have changed the face of this city exponentially. Despite the ongoing boom development, Abu Dhabi is loyal to its cultural heritage, promoting traditional sports like falconry and camel racing. Homosexuality is still currently illegal in the UAE with severe penalties that include deportation at best.
- Winter is not Abu Dhabi’s hottest time of year, but it’s still warm when you’re out and about in Abu Dhabi during the F1 weekend. Direct sun exposure for long periods of time, coupled with lack of appropriate hydration, will lead to problems if you’re not careful, so pack plenty of water and keep the sun cream handy.
- Abu Dhabi is extremely clean and known for being one of the last places you could expect to get food poisoning on holiday, but to safeguard against any chance of falling ill, an up to date hepatitis A vaccine is advisable, and you should stick to drinking bottled water. Most large hotels have on-site doctors for day-to-day ailments, and Abu Dhabi’s hospitals are of extremely high, Western standards.
- Abu Dhabi gets blue skies and sunshine all year round, with very little rainfall. The milder winter months of November to April are the best time of year to visit the Emirate, with pleasant temperatures of around 24C by day and 13C at night. The sun sets at around 5.30pm on Grand Prix weekend.
Need to Know
- The timezone in Abu Dhabi is GMT +4 hours.
- You drive on the left in the Emirates.
- The tap water in Abu Dhabi is safe for human consumption, but most locals and tourists drink bottled water.
- Useful telephone numbers in the UAE: Police 999, Ambulance 998, Fire 997.
Use our budget planner to work out the cost of a weekend at Yas Marina for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Warning, it’s going to be expensive. The next race is on November 24-26, 2017.
Your detailed guide on buying tickets to the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. The best places to watch the action at the final race of 2017 on November 24-26.
The best flights to Abu Dhabi and Dubai for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, plus advice on getting to Yas Marina Circuit.
Your trackside guide to Yas Marina for the 2016 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix on November 25-27. Information on access, amenities, concerts and attractions, plus the full on-track schedule.