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F1 Puts the UAE in the Fast Lane for Tourism Growth

Written by Naira Tarek, Edited by William Stephens

Wait, the fast lane for tourism growth? YES, The roar of the engines is getting louder and louder as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix comes close and we get to witness the Formula One cars race around the Yas Marina Circuit once again as the last round of the outstanding season of 2023. So, what is the secret to the UAE’s F1 effect? Absolute magic.

Starting from the architecture, cultural integration with almost everything surrounding the racetrack, and experience, those factors truly give the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a magical twist! The UAE has invested heavily in building world-class infrastructure for F1, such as the incredibly impressive Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari World theme park.

Image Credits - Yas Marina Circuit

Formula One has been a popular sport around the world for decades. In 2009, it started its journey in Abu Dhabi and has been travelling there ever since for every season. It has always been a major sporting event that attracts thousands of fans and tourists. This shows how greatly a three-day weekend genuinely affects the tourism rate of an entire country and raises it to the top of the charts! Statistical evidence of such would be the tremendous number of visitors, approximately 160,000, who attended the 2022 Grand Prix. In addition, from 2021 to 2022, there has been a five percent increase in the number of attendees. The tickets are usually introduced to the audience six to nine months prior to the race, and they sell out almost immediately within a few days or weeks. Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets, the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have started offering newer packages every now and then as continuous offers to give other individuals a chance to experience F1.

Here are some reviews of the country’s lovely tourists and F1 fans!

“A great day watching the F1 race at the Yas Marina Circuit. Lots of great race car action and vibes on a great course. A great bucket list day.” - A fan from Canada

“Great circuit. Super organised.Easy to get to. Brilliant seating and big screen action. Best F1 venue ... weather was good also.” - A fan from the United Kingdom

“Congratulations to the organization during this main event. All well arranged with free shuttle around circuit and excellent staff. Great atmosphere during the entire event including the concert. Friendliness from all members of organization really stands out. We most certainly will be back next year. Thank you all” - A fan from Zambia

“What a track to watch the world top drivers racing on. loads of great vantage points to make sure you catch all the action. the staff were very helpful in answering your questions or asking for directions. The venue was also laid out well so you could get around with ease. I would go back” - A fan from Ireland

Image Credits - Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

From an economic perspective, the impact of Formula 1 on the UAE’s economy falls into two categories: direct and indirect benefits. Direct economic benefits revolve around the sales that are directly attributed to F1 World on Emirati land.


  • Ticket sales

  • Hotel bookings and stays

  • Transportation sales

  • Restaurants

On the other hand, there are the indirect economic benefits.


  • Ferrari World sales

  • Louvre Museum ticket sales

  • Potential business investments

  • Other sources of tourism spending in the country

Besides the monetary benefits of F1 in Abu Dhabi, there are also social benefits. F1 has created new jobs in the tourism, hospitality, and transportation sectors. This has helped to improve the employability rate in Abu Dhabi and made it easier for people to find work.

As we speak, the Yas Marina Circuit is currently undergoing sustainable changes to help the venue become more environmentally friendly. According to the managers of the circuit, their partnership with Emerge: A Masadar & EDF Group Joint Venture revolves around reducing the carbon footprint intake while offsetting the circuit’s total energy consumption. They are currently working together to install solar panels on the ground of the circuit to generate clean energy that will be used to power the circuit and lessen its energy consumption. The solar panels will be completed in August 2023. I guess we could take that as an excuse to go check the venue out ourselves!

Now let’s go back to being tourists! The Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism Authority and Formula One have had a very long-standing partnership ever since 2009. The relationship has been mutually beneficial to its utmost power, where F1 benefits from the incredible strength and support of the infrastructure and the Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism Authority benefits from the exposure the city witnesses and receives from tourists!

Image Credits - Yas Marina Circuit

Lastly, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a truly mesmerizing experience! The combination of world-class racing, a vibrant atmosphere, and the rich culture of Abu Dhabi is what makes it unlike any other event in the world! The UAE is very well positioned to actually become a MAJOR destination for F1 in the Middle East. The country has the resources, infrastructure, and commitment to make an F1 experience successful for fans and organizers.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is beauty, magic, and grace! Do not miss it, and go after the dream of the big F1 fan in YOU!


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