Your ultimate guide to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend
Music’s biggest names, massive parties, and the small matter of a Formula One race… it’s all happening on Yas Island this weekend
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix centres around the final race of the Formula One season, with the biggest names in F1 heading to Abu Dhabi to crown an eventual winner. But the four-day festivities, now in their ninth year, are so much more than that.
More than 60,000 fans and partygoers will descend on the capital from November 23 to November 26 to see music mega stars, dine trackside and party with some of the world’s biggest A-listers.
So we’ve rounded it all up in one handy guide, the ultimate guide, to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Don’t forget that’s what it’s all about…
In an ideal world, the last race of the season would end with the championship still up for grabs, and an exciting decider taking place at Yas Marina Circuit – but that’s not the case this time around.
British star Lewis Hamilton successfully secured his fourth Grand Prix title in Mexico at the end of October. It is likely that second place will go to his rival Sebastian Vettel, who is currently sitting at 277 points ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who has 262 points with two races to go. Hamilton’s team, Mercedes, is also way ahead in the Constructor’s Championship, with 595 points (Ferrari, in second place, only have 455 points).
The Yasalam after-race concerts
This year, on top of all the racing action, you can catch four big names performing at the Yasalam after-race concerts.
Calvin Harris, who is responsible for hits including How Deep Is Your Love, and Summer will kick off the Formula 1 festivities on Thursday November 23.
He’ll be followed by hip hop star J Cole on Friday, and British indie-rock band Mumford & Sons on Saturday.
American pop star Pink, (aka, Alecia Beth Moore) will finish things off on the Sunday. The singer, songwriter, dancer and actress has a 21-year reign and a powerful, gutsy voice, and a huge vocal range that’s seen her release more than 30 singles through her career.
FYI: You can’t purchase the tickets individually for these concerts, as they’re part of the F1 ticket package. This year though, you can upgrade to the Golden Circle package, which provides an up close and personal experience. Prices vary for each concert but start from Dhs195.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Thurs Nov 23 to Sun Nov 26. Yasmarinacircuit.com
Yas Viceroy gigs
Three more big names are set for Yas as the Rich List event returns for a fifth year during F1 weekend, with three concerts taking place on November 24, 25 and 26 at the hotel’s Palm Gardens Nightclub.
First up on Friday November 24 is US rapper Busta Rhymes. The star, from Brooklyn, brings with him a whopping pedigree – he’s released nine albums during his career, including his 1996 platinum-selling debut The Coming.
Performing on Saturday is British singer Craig David, who rose to fame in the late 1990s with hits such as 7 Days and Fill Me In. He’s had quite the Renaissance of late and now hosts his own weekly DJ show from his house in Miami, called TS5 – he’s bringing that show with him to Yas Island.
Finally, Sunday sees Mississippi-born Rick Ross make his Abu Dhabi debut.
Yas Vicreoy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fri Nov 24 to Sun Nov 26, 9pm to 5am. Tel: (052) 9428161. Taxi: Yas Viceroy. platinumlist.net
Du Forum gigs
The du Arena isn’t the only venue hosting top-drawer music talent this F1 weekend. This year, the du Forum hosts three international DJs for a new event called Beyond The Track.
Beyond The Track by Alchemy Project will see Martin Garrix kick things off on Friday November 24. His hits include 2013 no. 1 Animals, Don’t Look Down, a collaboration with Usher, and the recent smash hit There For You.
Veteran DJ Carl Cox will take to the stage on Saturday November 25. The British DJ and techno producer has become an icon in the electronic dance music (EDM) scene, having had residencies at Space Ibiza, Ultra Festival and curating his own music festival in Australia called Pure Festival.
Rounding up the weekend is Tiesto. Previously dubbed “the Godfather of EDM”, Tiesto has been releasing music since 1994, and is most famous for tracks including Red Lights and Wasted. He will close the show on Sunday November 26.
du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Fri Nov 24 to Sun Nov 26, from Dhs295. Tel: (056) 6756834. Taxi: du Forum tixbox.com
We Brunch takes over the Viceroy Atayeb Terrace
The ever-popular We Brunch will be taking over the Viceroy Atayeb Terrace on Saturday November 25 with several all-inclusive packages available on the terrace which overlooks the track. The brunch package from 1pm to 4pm offers three hours of unlimited premium beverages and international cuisine for Dhs1250, a premium drinks-only package from 4.30pm to 8pm is priced at Dhs850, or opt for the full day of We Brunch action for Dhs1850, which includes both the brunch and terrace after-party package. All tickets include access to the Above rooftop party and a ticket for the Mumford & Sons after-race concert.
Atayeb Terrace, Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sat Nov 25, Dhs1250 brunch package 1pm to 4pm, Dhs850 terrace party 4.30pm to 8pm, Dhs1850 brunch and terrace party 1pm to 8pm. webrunchdxb.com
Origins is in the midst of all the action and comes with a race-view terrace where guests can enjoy front-row racing whilst feasting on international cuisine from live cooking stations. Diners at Origins can make the most of their experience with complimentary access to The Royal Terrace with a three-corner track view, as well as receiving access to the du Arena after-race concerts, and access to the Marina.
Origins, Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sat Nov 25, Dining Admission (including Royal Terrace Access) from Dhs750. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
Those in the mood for Japanese can pick a spot on the terrace at Kazu to cheer on as the chequered flag goes down. Serving fresh sushi and sashimi, guests can expect fine dining cuisine and may even spot a motorsport mogul or two dining at a neighbouring table.
Kazu, Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, brunch 12pm to 3pm or 4pm to 7pm from Dhs350 Thurs 23, from Dhs750 Fri 24 and Sat 25 , from Dhs3300 Sun 26. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
Bars and Parties
Candypants trackside yacht party
Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 12pm to 12am, Saturday November 25, Dhs1500 girls, Dhs2500 guys. Tel: (050) 220 4638. Info@candypants-events.co.uk
Just when you thought the artist announcements around the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend couldn’t get any bigger, Yas Island superclub throws another two names into the mix. The club will welcome Iggy Azalea on the Friday, and Ne-Yo on the Saturday. A Sunday artist is still to be confirmed. The standard door policy applies.
Mad on Yas Island, Friday Nov 24 to Sunday Nov 26. Tel: (055) 834 6262. More info on Facebook
Above at The Viceroy
LoveParties has taken over the Skylite roof top bar in the Viceroy from Friday 24 to Sunday 26. This event will be running from 4pm till 10pm every day giving guests an opportunity to enter for free and have this location as a great place to get warmed up for the night-time entertainment.
Above, Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 10pm, Fri Nov 24 to Sun Nov 26. webrunchdxb
Iris Yas Island
With its idyllic location overlooking the Yas Marina Circuit, Iris is one of the most popular pre and after-race hangouts, hosting sunset parties, evening drinks and DJ sets by some of the most renowned names in the industry. This year, names on the bill include Hot Since 82, Mark Knight and Claptone.
Iris, Yas Island, Thurs Nov 23 6pm-4am Fri 24 to Sun 26 Nov 12pm to 5am. Facebook.com/IrisYasIsland
El Chiringuito at Yas Beach
El Chiringuito will be bringing Balearic vibes to the shores of Yas Beach during F1 race weekend. From 11.30am Friday to Sunday, expect an energy-raising line up, including techno figurehead Sven Vath, hot Parisian exports Apollonia and Germany’s most acclaimed female DJ Tini, with the party going on until an extended closing time of 4am. On Saturday, El Chiringuito will host a party version of its La Famillia brunch, albeit the party edition. A more chilled out beach vibe will be served up on Sunday.
El Chiringuito at Yas Beach, Yas Island, Fri Nov 24 11.30am to 4am, Sat Nov 25 and Sun Nov 26 11.30am to 7pm, entry rates apply. Facebook.com/ElChiringuitoDubai
Amber Lounge, the original Grand Prix after-party, follows the F1 series around the globe, ending with an almighty two days of events at Yas Links Golf Club on Yas Island. This year, British rising star Ella Eyre will headline both Saturday and Sunday nights, where guests can expect to hear hit singles including Waiting All Night and Gravity. Individual passes start from Dhs1,650 on Saturday and Dhs3,120 on Sunday including a premium open bar.
Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Island, Sat Nov 25 and Sun Nov 26, 11pm to 4am, from Dhs1650. amber-lounge.com
1OAK pop up
American hip-hop star (and one time ex of Khloe Kardashian) French Montana will be performing at 1OAK Yas Island, a pop up of the Las Vegas superclub, on Sunday November 26. 1OAK will be open above Cipriani on Yas Island for three nights over race weekend, in the spot formerly occupied by VIP Room. Other stars are expected to be announced for the bill very soon.
Above Cipriani, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Thurs Nov 23 to Sun Nov 26, timings and entry price TBC.
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE at Diablito
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE is taking over the rooftop obvservation deck at Diablito Yas Island on Sunday November 16. Blue Marlin’s resident DJs Frederick Stone, Michka, Sam Starks and Mario Bazouri will be entertaining revelers, and table packages start from Dhs15,000 and individual tickets are Dhs500 including two glasses of bubbly.
Diablito Yas Island, 1pm to 10pm, Sun Nov 26, tickets Dhs500, table packages from Dhs15,000. Tel: (056) 113 3400. More info on Facebook