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30 Seconds On The Business Of…The F1 Hospitality Industry

30 Seconds On The Business Of…The F1 Hospitality Industry

Gulf Business speaks to Chris Buncombe, co-founder and director of Halcyon Events.

How does the F1 hospitality industry currently perform in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is a very popular event for hospitality at the Grand Prix with Paddock Club selling out every year since the first race in 2009. The race is among the most lucrative in the calendar.

Can you give us an idea about the packages you offer in Abu Dhabi?

Key packages include the Formula One Paddock Club and the Jenson Button Trust Suite. Costs start at $4,000 per person for a two-day ticket and reach up to $8,000 plus accommodation, transfers, travel and parties.

Who are the biggest spenders in the UAE – local, regional or international clients?

Halcyon has a mixture of local corporate clients, and private individuals from both the UAE and further afield such as Europe, USA and Asia. Budgets don’t tend to vary with nationality but with personal preferences.

Are there any particular challenges in the Abu Dhabi market?

Local individuals are often invited by multiple corporates and so we are faced with the challenge of offering something special and unique for our clients to set the experience aside from others.

What are your forecasts for the local F1 hospitality industry?

Despite this year’s event being the fifth year in Abu Dhabi, interest has not dwindled in the region. Many options are sold out and we are confident that demand will continue to rise as the sport becomes more widely recognised and followed in the Middle East. The region continues to emerge from the recession and, with that, we foresee an increased need for corporate entertaining.

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