The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been a fitting finale to the Formula 1 season ever since its debut in 2009 and although the thrilling F1 racing is undeniably the main draw, there is still plenty going on in Abu Dhabi to keep grand prix fans entertained away from their superyachts.
For one weekend every November, 60,000 people arrive in Abu Dhabi to catch the iconic sporting event and, as the racing unfolds on the Yas Marina Circuit, superyachts are put at the very heart of the action. But, there is a similarly dazzling social scene away from the track.
From after-race concerts and DJ sets in the city's fanciest nightclubs to a world-class dining scene and must-see sights, discover what to do in Abu Dhabi once all the racers have roared across the finish line.
Grand prix ticket holders have access to a series of post-race concerts taking place at du Arena, Abu Dhabi’s biggest live music venue and the largest outdoor venue in the region.
A stellar line-up of international music stars take to the stage each year with Beyoncé, Rihanna, Calvin Harris, the Chemical Brothers and Blur among the top acts to headline the 35,000-strong crowd.
Those looking for a superior experience can opt for a ‘Golden Circle’ upgrade which gives fast-track entry into the arena and provides access to an exclusive section closest to the stage.
A stellar line-up of international music stars take to the stage each year with Beyoncé, Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Blur among the top acts
World-Class Gigs & DJ Sets
The du Arena won’t be the only venue on Yas Island welcoming global music acts. The city will be buzzing with other top-draw performers and DJs in town to entertain the F1 fans.
Three unforgettable nights are always promised at the Rich List event held in the Yas Viceroy’s Palm Gardens Nightclub. Expect names such as Busta Rhymes, Craig David and Rick Ross.
International DJs, meanwhile, take to the decks at clubs across the city, including du Forum. In 2017, the venue launches a new event called Beyond The Track, which hosts Martin Garrix, veteran DJ Carl Cox and ‘Godfather of EDM’ Tiesto.
The post-race celebrations spill into nightclubs and bars across the capital with many hosting pop-up events to mark the occasion. LoveParties usually takes over the Skylite roof top bar in the Viceroy for the weekend, while Iris is one of the most popular after-race hangouts with its track-side location.
Revellers can rub shoulders with the rich, the famous and the motor racing stars themselves at the Amber Lounge, the original grand prix after-party which follows the F1 series around the world ending the year in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Links Golf Club.
Other top spots include Yas Island superclub MAD, El Chiringuito at Yas Beach with its Balearic vibes, the rooftop observation deck at Diablito which is normally taken over by Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE and 10AK Yas Island – a pop-up of the Las Vegas Club above Cipriani.
The post-race celebrations spill into nightclubs and bars across the capital with many hosting pop-up events to mark the occasion
Abu Dhabi has a burgeoning reputation as a culinary capital, meaning there is no shortage of fine dining establishments catering to the tastes of superyacht-goers. There are even track-side venues adding to the eating scene such as the popular We Brunch event in the Viceroy Terrace.
Origins, a restaurant in Yas Viceroy hotel, also serves up international cuisine which guests can feast on while enjoying front-row racing from the vantage point of the Royal Terrace.
Away from the track, seek out the Asian-inspired fare and panoramic views at Quest, the upmarket Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, the contemporary French cuisine of Bord Eau, sushi at Kazu and, as the name suggests, the Moroccan restaurant Marrakesh.
Take some time out from the track or stay a day or two longer to take in some of Abu Dhabi’s best sights. Indeed, no visit to the city would be complete without a stroll along the iconic Corniche, an eight kilometre stretch of manicured beaches, boutiques, cafes, restaurants and luxury hotels.
Cultural offerings come in the form of the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the traditional streets of Heritage Village and the new cultural quarter on Saadiyat Island. While theme park Ferrari World and the expansive Marina Mall are among the city’s more modern attractions.
A suitably glitzy way to round-off a F1 yacht charter, however, would be taking a helicopter trip over the city and staggering views of Abu Dhabi and its surrounds can also be seen from the Observation Deck at 300 which sits atop the Etihad Towers complex.