ABU DHABI - A raft of exciting new ticket categories, diverse race-meets-destination packages, an expanded Yasalam After-Race Concert programme and an electro-rock legend headline concert finale has been rolled out to ensure this year's Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which runs from Thursday October 31st to Sunday November 3rd at the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit, will be the most successful to date.
With six months to go before the world's most glamorous motorsport series returns to Abu Dhabi for a fifth consecutive year, a record 54 international on-sellers - up from 24 last year - and 26 GCC on-sellers - up from six last year - are already selling race tickets under an exclusive 'early-bird' 20% discount, which is available until the end of May, and delivering the event and destination's 'There is more to F1 in Abu Dhabi' message to international and regional fans.
FLASH Entertainment has announced that British music legends Depeche Mode, the most successful electronic band in music history, will close-out the 2013 race weekend with a show-stopping After-Race Concert on Sunday, November 3rd at the du Arena on Yas Island. Artists for the Yasalam After-Race concerts on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of November will be named in coming months.
To further tap the regional market, race organisers also revealed an all-GCC star concert will be staged on Thursday 31 October, while FLASH Entertainment's city-wide 'Yasalam' entertainment programme will again dovetail the exciting on-and-off track activities on Yas Island.
"Year-after-year, the Yasalam programme and After-Race concerts weekend are integral parts in what makes Abu Dhabi such an attractive race destination," said Mike Fairburn, VP of Marketing and Communications at FLASH Entertainment.
"Yasalam was created for the entire region to enjoy, so it's fitting that on the race's fifth anniversary we should be celebrating live Arabic music and culture on such a global stage. Combined with the finale performance from Depeche Mode, we hope to cater to the multicultural audience of the capital and its visitors."
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) says the 2013 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix initiatives enhance an already improved overall destination offering.
"The Yasalam After-Race Concerts are intrinsic to the overall Abu Dhabi Grand Prix experience and the schedule already confirmed for November underlines the added-value proposition which makes the emirate's flagship sporting event such an attractive ticket for domestic, regional and international fans," said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotion & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.
"Coupled with the additional leisure attractions now open on our world-class entertainment district of Yas Island and elsewhere across the emirate, visitors to this year's Grand Prix will discover there's so much more to see and do in Abu Dhabi than ever before."
Yas Marina Circuit initiatives, which include expanded and new ticket categories, have increased the event's overall capacity by 10% - increasing the daily attendance target to 55,000.
"Our aim is for 42% of ticket sales to come from visitors living outside the UAE," explained Al Tareq Al Ameri, Senior Director - Commercial, Yas Marina Circuit. "Last year, we welcomed an unprecedented number of international fans and this year, we have built upon our already strong proposition by introducing new products that allow fans from all markets to really shape their F1 weekend, their way.
"Our enhanced on-seller network and planned international promotions at the British and Monaco Grands Prix will also help us achieve this goal and make the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix more international than ever before."
Ticket categories again fall under a three-tier sales system. Favourites such as the three-day Grand-stand, Paddock Club and Marina Boxes, all return and are enhanced by new products. These include a $100, general admission, entry-price ticket for 'Abu Dhabi Hill' in the heart of Yas Marina Circuit, family discounts, a Friday brunch, new hospitality 'Lounge' products and the expansive Yas Pass upgrade, which gives regular and premium access to the F1 and two other Yas Island power draws - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world's largest indoor theme park, and Yas Waterworld, the world's most modern aqua park.
"There is much more choice for fans this year - both at the Circuit and throughout Yas Island and Abu Dhabi," added Al Ameri. "With a 70% increase in new ticket products this year, we are opening up the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to even more potential customers, especially non-motorsport fans."