• Jan 18th 2007 at 7:02AM
  • 6

It's not scheduled to open before 2009, but we're already looking at flights to Abu Dhabi. (Yes, Abu Dhabi, that obscure place Garfield used to send Odie to.) Why? Well, because of a little project underway that'll do a lot to put the place on the map. The project we're talking about is Ferrari World, the high-octane theme park currently under construction in the small gulf emirate. We've reported on the project previously, but new reports suggest the park could now include a world-class F1-spec race track.

The circuit would accompany Ferrari World along with beaches, night clubs, restaurants, high-end stores, luxury hotels, premium condos, golf courses, two marinas, a polo field and equestrian facilities (for those other prancing horses), all on a 6000-acre plot on Yas Island, the largest isle in Abu Dhabi. The park will be linked by a ten-lane highway to the newly-expanded Abu Dhabi International Airport, facilitating the hoards of tourists the oil-rich royal family is anticipating will flock to this new destination.

Don't read too much into the addition of the racing circuit to the plans. While lower-rung racing events (touring cars, GP2, Champ Cars) could be held there, Bahrain has a multi-year deal with F1 Management for the only grand prix in the region (Turkey notwithstanding). When that contract expires, we wouldn't be too surprised if Abu Dhabi put in a serious competing bid. The royal family's business front, Mubadala Development Company, owns significant interest in two F1 teams: Ferrari (5%) and Spyker (17%).

[Source: GrandPrix.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't know how people complain abou the price of gas when you consider its cheaper the starbucks and you get ALOT MORE.
      Anyway, good for them. I'm happy to see a bright spot in the region. We should be happy for them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice! That region of the world is developing so quickly, not even Europe developed this fast in Renaissance! Just waiting to see what a few fellow Americans will comment on! I say its a very good publicity for the sport, the cars and the passion!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes yes... and I thought I was the only one who associated Abu Dhabi with Garfield and Odie, or maybe you're right, Yak... it may have been Nermal. Anyways, thanks for the obscure reference in an otherwise boring story about F1 and Ferraris and useless oil sheiks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pretty interesting that Abu Dhabi and UAE in general is kicking TOTAL ass economically... and you CANNOT vote!
      Oil helps, but then again a country like Iraq has much greater oil reserves.
      Democracy? Umm, maybe you don't really need it to have a stable and sound country. Hear that Mr. Bush?
      • 8 Years Ago
      guys jews are so welcome to the united arab emirates but the israelies are not because they r killing the palestinians but any jew with any passport(not the israeli passport) can enter the UAE
      • 8 Years Ago
      Isn't Abu Dhabi where garfield used to send nirmil - not odie - ? maybe that was only in the cartoon and i missed odie shipping events in the strip.

      I would imagine that if a GP were to be held there it would go to the rotating regional system that is happening with the two german gps, and hopefully japan. it seems odd to me that the brand new circuit in bahrain would have to give up its space onthe calendar permenantly, especially with the quality of races that have begun to happen there.
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