F1 in Abu Dubai: Things to do surrounding the Grand Prix, from brunches and yacht parties to after-race concerts
It's that time again; Formula 1 is returning to Abu Dhabi, and like every year, there's so much more to do that kick back and watch the races. Because in case you haven’t been keeping up, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have already brought home the driver’s and constructor’s titles respectively. So in terms of the actual asphalt chewing antics of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix there’s very little tension to be had.
But hey, with the F1 show in town, there are more than enough ways to enjoy the race weekend regardless. The capital, and specifically Yas Island, is transformed into a three-day festival that’s packed with parties, celebrities and a number of free events such as the F1 FanZone where speed freaks can jump behind the wheel of a race car in the safety of a VR simulator.
We’re pumped up the most for the after race concerts and the smaller gigs that will take place across the weekend. Guns n’ Roses, Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Post Malone will be strutting their stuff at the after-race concerts as part of Yasalam.
But away from the bombastic shows, you’ll find the likes of US rapper Nelly performing at MAD on November 22, DJ Roger Sanchez at Iris on November 23 and house music extraordinaire, David Morales closing the party out at Yas Hotel on November 25. That’s a lot going on and we haven’t even mentioned the mass of F1-themed brunches, extravagant celebrity-filled yacht parties and, erm, the actual race on Sunday.
It's the tenth year of the action in the emirate, it’s bound to be a big weekend in Abu Dhabi even if you haven’t got track side seats for the finale. From elaborate yacht parties to after-race gigs, here's what's on:
Dubai Key Yachts
While cars are the main attraction at the F1, water vessels aren't far behind. Yes, going to the races is also about living it large on a yacht party, and there's plenty to chose from. And getting yourself on board starts from AED990 with dubai-key.com.
Elsewhere, you can check out f1yachtabudhabi.com for info on viewing the racing fun from a yacht, and even enquire about accommodation upon a luxury vessel. You can get a great view of all the action, and VIP weekend packages can be tailored to suit whatever you've got in mind.
It wouldn't be the F1 without an epic after party or four. And we're putting it out there; this year's line-up is the best to date. To warm up, Post Malone will take to the stage on Thursday, November 22. The gigs will consecutively follow with The Weeknd (23), Sam Smith (24) and Guns and Roses to see out the fun on Sunday 25. Get your tickets for the shows at yasmarinacircuit.com.
After all that live music fun, you'll naturally want to ride that high and carry on the party into the night, right? Luckily venues about the city will be putting on a party, too. Take LA-inspired club 1 Oak will be bringing a slice of celebrity life to Abu Dhabi with new F1 Paddock Club. If you're thinking of spending the day in the celebrity haunt, then they're offering up meet and greets with Lotus Team CEO Matthew Carte as part of two or three-day packages with gourmet food and mixed beverages and more.
Hailed the original F1 after party, the club is putting on a show at the Grand Prix for its tenth year in the emirate, promising to pull in international stars, world famous DJs and fun-loving party goers. By day, you can live it up on the Amber Lounge Celebrity Yacht, and by night take to one of their private tables in the luxe venue. Check out (sweat-inducing) prices at amber-lounge.com/abu-dhabi.
Just because the annual event is in full swing, doesn't mean brunching should be put on hold. For the occasion, Bubbalicious are putting on a themed brunch, offering a chance to win tickets to the match as well as all the usual, food and drink trimmings. Prices start at AED336.
Here's one if you want your brunch option to be full of fun and games, from arcade-style games to group challenges and generally jolly party atmosphere. Prices start at AED500, with American and Tex Mex style food to snack on while DJs Cliff Townley and James Murray serve up the party tunes.
Yas Hotel Brunch
You'd be hard pressed to find another brunch in Abu Dhabi that gets closer to the action. With seats directly overlooking Yas Marina Circuit, you can really soak in the atmosphere as you work your way through the buffet. And with some brunch packages including tickets to the after-race concerts, it's promising a fully-rounded weekend of fun. Prices start from AED450.