12 parties that you have to attend at this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
As the curtain falls on the 2017 F1 championship, the finale at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit is all set to make sure that the motor-racing season closes with a bang.
From the Corniche to Yas Island and beyond, the four-night extravaganza will include some of the biggest musical artists on the planet rocking up for a party that’s incomparable on the F1 tour.
With so many parties going off this weekend, we’ve made your choices easier by plucking out the ones you can’t miss. You’re welcome.
Yasalam After-Race Concerts
As is tradition now, the biggest superstar performances of the weekend will take place at du Arena, with the usual eclectic blend of dance, pop, rock and a huge slab of EDM. From Thursday to the finale on Sunday, the F1 weekend is a mini music festival with some of the titans in each genres.
Thursday, November 23
The race weekend concerts kicks off on Thursday night with an energetic performance from multi-talented Scotsman Calvin Harris. He’s the first British artist to pass one billion plays on Spotify, thanks to hits such as “Acceptable in the 80s”, “Under Control” and his mega-hit with Rihanna, “This Is What You Came For”.
Friday, November 24
After Kendrick Lamar pulled out of his appearance at the last minute, hip-hop heavyweight J Cole stepped up to save the Friday night gig. The rapper’s tracks have earned the adulation of rap game moguls such as Jay-Z – whose label he is now signed to – while his Grammy-nominated album 2014 Forest Hill Drives propelled him into the stratosphere.
Saturday, November 25
British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons are performing on the night after F1 qualifying has finished. The band have been kind of quiet on the new music front of late, but they’re still touring with their unique brand of hillbilly rock that includes favourites such as “Roll Away Your Stone” and “Little Lion Man”.
Sunday, November 26
Pink takes to the stage to put an exclamation point on the whole show on Sunday evening. What a career it has been for the pop princess who has had a musical and image arc from rabble-rousing with tracks such as “Get The Party Started” to melodic, mature artistry with 2017’s Beautiful Trauma album. Dubai-based, Hollaphonic will provide the support, too.
Yasalam After-Race Concerts
When: November 23 - November 26
Where: du Arena, Abu Dhabi
Beyond The Track
There’s a triple-threat of internationally recognised DJs making their way to du Forum this weekend for a dance music extravaganza. Friday opens with Dutch DJ supremo Martin Garrix on the decks in what should be a memorable evening from the “Animals” and “Scared to Be Lonely” star. Saturday is UK DJ legend Carl Cox’s turn to bring the party to life. He’ll be supported on the night by Nic Fanciulli, who recently collaborated with Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn for the track “Saying”. And the Sunday show will be headlined by the one and only superstar DJ Tiësto.
Where: du Forum
When: November 24-25
Party Under The Stars
The Rich List Group presents a weekend of rap and hip-hop at the iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel with a stellar line-up of the industry’s legendary performers. It all kicks off with a DJ set on Thursday’s opening night, which will set the tone for the rest of weekend. Friday then sees Busta Rhymes step up to the mic for an exclusive performance you won’t want to miss. On Saturday, Craig David will be hosting one of his TS5 DJ sets before chilling on Sunday, and no doubt watching the big boss Rick Ross close out the weekend after the racing is done.
When: 10pm-4am, November 23-26
Where: Yas Viceroy Hotel
Contact: +971 56 113 4626, website
El Chiringuito at Yas Beach
The Dubai party spot is dropping anchor on Yas Beach over race weekend. Not only is it bringing the popular La Familia Brunch to the occasion on Saturday, it’s also packing a roster of DJs to soundtrack the whole thing, including Sven Vath, Apollonia and the superb, DJ Tini. The best bit? It has extended operating hours so won’t close until 4am.
When: 12pm-4am, November 24-26
Where: Yas Beach, Yas Island
Contact: +971 54 449 6464, website
Race Weekend at Iris
A host of DJs will drop by Iris Yas Island this weekend to headline four nights of partying at the plush hotel. Hot Since 82 gets the party started on Thursday evening with his signature progressive house sounds. Iris then welcomes DJ Mark Knight on Friday, DJ Rony Seikaly on Saturday before Claptone bookends the run with a house music masterclass.
When: November 23-26
Where: Iris, Yas Island
Contact: +971 55 160 5636, website
F1OAK Pop-Up Nightclub
F1 what? Ah, “One of a Kind”... now we get it. This North American nightlife trend attracts the likes of P Diddy, Justin Bieber and the Kardashians, so this is the ideal venue for spotting celebrities over race weekend. Hip-hop’s French Montana is the star turn on Saturday night, and Sunday’s Celebrity Bash will welcome some very special guests, too.
When: November 24-26
Where: Yas Marina, Yas Island
Circoloco at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
For those who aren’t in-the-know, Circoloco is the party brand born out of Ibiza that everyone wants a piece of. It’s a hedonistic celebration of electronic music that encourages party-goers to leave their worries at the door and soak in the tunes of its always stellar DJ line-up. On the bill at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE over race weekend is UK duo Solardo, mix master Rampa, talented German producer &ME, who seamlessly joins soulful house and techno into his sets, and Loco Dice, the Ibiza veteran who’s sure to keep the heads bopping all night.
Where: Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel
When: 1pm-11pm, November 24-25
Contact: +971 56 113 3400, website
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE at Diablito
Not content with throwing a party at their own venue over the race weekend, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE will bring the Balaeric atmosphere to a new one at Yas Marina. The club is taking over the Diablito Rooftop, which provides incredible views of the race track and everything else below. There will be tunes from the club’s residents Frederick Stone, Michka, Sam Starks and Mario Bazouri, in what is set to be one of the best places to catch the race.
When: Sunday, November 26
Where: Diablito Rooftop, Yas Marina
Price: From AED500, inclusive of two glasses of bubbly
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, website
MAD on Yas Island
With a masive four-day line-up that includes Ty Dolla $ign, Ne-Yo, Wiz Khalifa and Iggy Azalea, it's safe to say MAD is one spot that has to be on your party bucket list this Formula One season. For more details, click here.
When: 11pm-6am, November 24-November 26
Where: MAD, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Contact: +971 55 834 6262, website