Abu Dhabi next to play host to F1
Bernie Ecclestone and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi sign the contract
Picture: Abu Dhabi GP
Asecond desert Grand Prix willbe held in Abu Dhabi - capital of the United Arab Emirates - from 2009 onwards.
In front of an elated crowd of tens of thousands of people, Formula One Management announced that the Emirate state had secured the rights to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
On behalf of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the announcement was made to the public who had gathered to watch the sport's elite at the first-ever Abu Dhabi F1 Festival - featuring the largest gathering of current Formula One drivers and cars ever assembled outside of a Grand Prix.
An official signing ceremony immediately followed at the stunning Emirates Palace Hotel by Bernie Ecclestone and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), His Excellency Khaldoon Al Mubarak, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
"A Formula 1 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," said the Crown Prince.
"For Abu Dhabi, and indeed the whole of the UAE, the opportunities that are presented by increased international attention and connectivity will deliver very real macroeconomic benefits."
Already under construction, the track is situated on a 2,550 hectare, natural leisure island, Yas Island, situated on the east coast of Abu Dhabi and only minutes away from the expanding Abu Dhabi International Airport. The design features a harbour-side street section and has been designed by Hermann Tilke.
"Abu Dhabi's hospitality, the genuine warmth of its people, and ever increasing number of world class facilities, will ensure that its round of the FIA Formula One World Championship is a wonderful addition to the Formula One calendar," said Ecclestone.
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