Trackside at Yas Marina – 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Your trackside guide to Yas Marina for the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 26-29, including information on concerts, trackside attractions and more.

This guide will be fully updated when the event schedule for the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is available, normally around one more before race weekend. In the meantime, most of the information below remains relevant.

Yas Island Marina is a veritable playground for the F1 fanatic, adrenaline junkie and gastronome. In addition to the F1 circuit, the island complex also boasts a world-class marina rivaling Monaco for glamor, three huge theme parks (Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld & Warner Bros World), Du Arena for concerts, shopping, restaurants and more! Most of the on-track action takes place in the afternoon, leaving you with the morning to check out the rest of the island’s attractions.

2019 Abu Dhabi GP Timetable

As well as almost seven hours of F1 action on the track at Yas Marina, you will also get to see two races apiece (plus practice and qualifying) from Formula 2 and Formula 4 UAE. The Pirelli Hot Laps supercars will also be taking VIPs, celebrities and paying guests on laps of the circuit across the weekend. The F1 Fanzone is also open on Thursday, when a public pit lane walk is held for 3-day ticket holders.

Thursday, November 28

  • 11:00-18:00: Gates Open
  • 11:00-16:15: Public Pit Lane Walk (valid for 3-day ticket holders only)
  • 18:30-19:00: Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps

Friday, November 29

  • 10:00-20:00: Gates Open
  • 10:30-11:00: Formula 4 UAE practice
  • 11:30-12:15: Formula 2 practice
  • 13:00-14:30: Formula 1 practice (FP1)
  • 14:40-15:05: F1 Pirelli Hot Laps
  • 16:00-16:20: Formula 4 UAE qualifying
  • 17:00-18:30: Formula 1 practice (FP2)
  • 19:00-19:30: Formula 2 qualifying

Saturday, November 30

  • 10:00-20:00: Gates Open
  • 12:30-13:10: Formula 4 UAE first race (25 mins)
  • 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 Practice 3
  • 15:10-15:40: Formula 2 driver’s parade
  • 15:50-16:20: F1 Pirelli Hot Laps
  • 17:00-18:00: Formula 1 Qualifying
  • 18:45-19:50: Formula 2 first race (31 laps or 60 mins)

Sunday, December 1

  • 11:30-20:00: Gates Open
  • 12:00-12:30: Formula 4 UAE second race (25 mins)
  • 13:30-14:20: Formula 2 second race (22 laps or 45 mins)
  • 14:40-15:00: Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps
  • 15:10-15:15: DHL Fastest Lap & Fastest Pit Stop of the Year Awards
  • 15:15-15:20: End of year driver’s photograph
  • 15:30-16:00: F1 Driver’s Track Parade
  • 15:35-16:05: Starting grid presentation
  • 17:10-19:10: 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps or 2 hours)

Access and Orientation

A total of seven access gates provide access to the circuit on the main access road which runs around the North and West of the circuit (download a map below). Free shuttle buses run regularly between the entrances and provide easy access to all of the main grandstands, marina, hotels, Du Arena (where the concerts are held) and Ferrari World. The exception is the Main Grandstand, which is accessed by entering through Gate 14 and walking through the tunnel at Gate 16 to the inside of the circuit. You are not allowed to bring any food and drinks into the circuit. Read Getting There & Around for more information on getting to Yas Marina circuit.

Yas Marina map: click to open a large version.

Yas Marina Circuit: Need to Know

  • Stay up to date with what’s happening during the weekend by downloading the free “YasHub” app for IOS / Android.
  • Follow Yas Marina circuit on Facebook and Twitter to find out about competitions, special promotions and changes to the schedule.
  • It can be very hot before the sun goes down at Yas Marina, so wear light clothing (but retain modesty, you are in a Muslim country) and wear a hat and sunscreen. Taking a change of clothes for the concert is also a good idea.
  • ATMs are located in each grandstand; you can pay for merchandise and other larger purchases with a credit card. The circuit is also introducing a cashless system for trackside payments this year called Yas Pay.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all Grandstands and inside the circuit buildings.

Yasalam Post-Race Concerts at Du Arena

The Yasalam After-Race concerts are FREE with a valid Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket for the day when the concert happens, but you do need to collect a wristband to enter. These can be collected from the Oasis areas around the circuit on the day.

The concerts take place in Du Arena (behind the North grandstand, near Ferrari world). This is an impressive concert venue with excellent facilities, including food trucks and bars serving alcohol (though the prices are expensive). Gates to the concerts open quite early (see below), but the main headline acts generally don’t come on until around 21:00 and finish by around 23:00.

2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Concerts
  • Thursday, 28 November: Marshmello (gates open 17:00)
  • Friday 29 November: Travis Scott (gates open 18:00)
  • Saturday 30 November: Lana Del Ray (gates open 18:00)
  • Sunday 1 December: The Killers (gates open 18:00)

Yas Island Theme Parks

Yas Island is home to three world-class theme parks. The best known among F1 fans is Ferrari World, located under a huge red roof with the famous prancing horse logo next to the track. “GP Parks Pass” tickets (sold out for 2019) grant you access to both the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and all three parks. Alternatively, you can save on the high individual entry prices for each theme park by purchase 2-day, 2-park (or 3-day, 3-park) tickets.

  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi: Based on our recent experience, Ferrari World is worth checking out to ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster (Formula Rossa, which hits speeds of up to 240 km/hr and is amazing!) but pretty underwhelming otherwise, making it hard to justify the high ticket prices. There are some legendary Ferraris on display, but you can see equally awesome supercars everywhere in the UAE, and the rides, games, galleries and experiences will not keep you busy much beyond an hour or two. Your kids will probably disagree with our assessment. Open from 11:00-20:00 every day. Adult tickets from 295 AED. 
  • Yas Waterworld: Boasting 43 rides, slides and attractions, Yas Marina is a huge water park spread over 15 hectares on Yas Island. General Admission costs 240 AEd ($65) for those over 1.1m tall. Junior Admission for those under 1.1m tall is around 20% cheaper. Yas Waterworld is open from 10:00-19:00. Adult tickets from 250 AED. 
  • Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi: The newest addition to Yas Marina is devoted to the characters of the famous Hollywood studio, including Looney Tunes, DC Comics & Hanna-Barbera. It contains 29 rides plus daily shows, restaurants, shops and other attractions. Open every day from 10:00-20:00. Adult tickets from 295 AED

Yas Marina

No visit to the Yas Marina circuit would be complete without a visit to the Marina itself. Monaco meets the Middle East as the rich and famous gather on superyachts and in exclusive bars and restaurants to watch the action. Incredibly, entrance is free on Grand Prix weekend (even if you don’t have an F1 ticket), though you can’t go too far without the right credentials. There’s even a small section of track where you can watch the action on the outside of turn 19 (between numbers 17 and 20 on this Yas Marina map).

Want to get your own sunset photos that the circuit is famous for? Head to the area outside the track (near the apex of turn 19) before the entrance to the Marina, and join the official photographers. There are some trees and a fence, but you can get uninterrupted shots like we did below last year. No F1 ticket required! Don’t forget that sunset is at around 17:30 local time (during FP2 on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday).

Yas Marina Circuit Facilities

Yas Marina is a modern circuit and the facilities are world class. There are several food and drink areas dotted around the circuit and close to the main spectator areas: North Oasis (close to the North Grandstand), West Oasis (next to the West Grandstand), South Oasis (between the Marina and South Grandstands) and the F1 Village (behind the Main Grandstand). Food and drink are reasonably priced (alcohol is available, but expensive) but the food selection is mostly limited to fast-food type options. If you want a better selection of food you can head to the shopping center next to Ferrari World (affordable eats) or join the rich and famous at the eateries in the Marina (not so affordable eats).

Visiting Yas Marina Circuit

Want to visit the circuit on another weekend? Yas Marina circuit runs regular daily tours throughout the year, taking in the grandstands, race control, media center and paddock area. Priced from 60 AED ($16 USD). Click here to book.  You can also hit the track as a passenger or driver in a supercar or open seat racer, awesome! Details here.

Been to Yas Marina circuit? Leave a comment below and tells us about your experience.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (10)

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  1. Hi, I am Michelle Dela Cerna currently based in Dubai, I am your avid reader of your blog since then and somehow you give me an interesting idea about Abu Dhabi.

    https://www.dubaieveningsafari.com/abu-dhabi-city-tour/

    I would like to commend you for a very good job in every blog that you’ve made. Thank you for inspiring us!

    Hope you will make more blog! ♥

  2. desertsafari says:

    nice..
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  3. Isra says:

    Hi, if possible I would love to know where are the best spots to get closer to the drivers and teams (ex. Entrance and exit of the drivers and teams) in the circuit. And thanks in advance

    • Editor says:

      Hi Isra, I’m not sure for Yas Marina. I think it could be difficult at the track, as the driver’s enter the pits and paddock area directly via a tunnel.

  4. Brenda Peterson says:

    Good evening: could you please let me know the attire for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and F4 UAE?

    Thank you.

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