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Old Posted Feb 3, 2007, 7:55 PM
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Abu Dhabi gets Formula One Race

not that this has anything to do with Skyscrapers, more general development: but:

Originally Posted by F1-Live.com
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix confirmed
A new circuit to be constructed for 2009

The United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi will host its first Formula One Grand Prix in 2009, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone announced Saturday.

The race will be held on a track now under construction on Yas, a leisure island off oil-rich Abu Dhabi, he told reporters.

Ecclestone signed the agreement granting Abu Dhabi the right to host the race for seven years starting in 2009 with a representative of the emirate's government in the presence of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahayan. Abu Dhabi is the largest and wealthiest of seven emirates making up the UAE.

The contract can be extended beyond seven years, Ecclestone said. The signing followed a show by F1 drivers led by world champion Fernando Alonso watched by thousands of fans.

The UAE will become the second country in the Middle East to host the race after Gulf Arab partner Bahrain, which hosted its first Grand Prix in 2004.

"The Formula One Grand Prix is one of the world's most prestigious sporting events, in the same category as an Olympic Games or World Cup, and is unrivalled in terms of continuous global resonance. That is why this new partnership is such an exciting one for Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE," Abu Dhabi's crown prince said.

"We are delighted to welcome Abu Dhabi into the Formula One family and we look forward to a long and successful partnership," Ecclestone said.

He voiced confidence that neighbours Abu Dhabi and Bahrain will work together to enhance the race.

The track on Yas island will be 5.5 kilometres long, with 2.5 kilometres reserved exclusively for the race. The plan to hold the Formula One Grand Prix on Yas is part of a project, announced in November, to turn the island into a premier leisure destination at a cost of 40 billion dollars.

The island will have "a Ferrari-themed park, museum and theatre... linked to a top quality motor race track on which visitors can experience the thrill of the exclusive Ferrari Driving School (Pilota Ferrari), kart track and dune buggies," according to project developers AlDar Properties.

The first phase of the project is due to be completed in 2008 and the entire venture will be completed in 2014 on the 2,500-hectare island which has a 32-kilometer Gulf shoreline.

It is part of a series of multi-billion-dollar ventures launched by Abu Dhabi in a bid to claim a larger share of the region's booming tourism industry. Dubai, another UAE member, is already a bustling tourism and business hub.

Source AFP
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