The Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix rolls into the UAE capital this weekend, promising to be the biggest ever.
All 60,000 tickets have been sold across the three days of entertainment, which stretches far beyond the twists and turns of the race track.
Of course, happenings on the circuit are important, with the World Championship title up for grabs. Lewis Hamilton currently leads the way from team-mate Nico Rosberg, who won the last race in Brazil, but with double points awarded, the crown is really anyone’s for the taking.
Since the chequered flag in South America a fortnight ago, six charter flights, each carrying 90 tonnes of gear, have airlifted all the Formula One team equipment to Abu Dhabi. An astonishing 140 sea freight containers will also have landed at Khalifa Port by the weekend, bringing the remaining team kit for the Formula 1, GP2 and GP3 races.
And here’s what else is amazing; the circuit has employed 1,924 catering staff, serving around 29,670 meals, a team of 59 gardeners has been working constantly to lay 75 acres of grass, and plant a total of 715 palm trees and 150,000 flowers in preparation for the event, while painting the track is carried out by six specialist contractors applying a staggering 8,550 litres of specially commissioned paints. White lines alone cover a total of 26 kilometres. It all combines to make Yas Marina Circuit one of the most iconic in world sport.
But what else. How about the music?
Pharrell Williams, The Who and Armin van Buuren are the headline acts for the after-race concerts at du Arena, while a smaller series of shows known as Beats On The Beach have been confirmed for the Corniche, featuring Rita Ora and Jason Derulo, as well as Juicy J, Tinashe, Filipino star Charice and more regional figures.
Other parties include The Crystal Group presents People by The Sea a three-day event at the Yas Beach featuring Mark Fanciulli, Danny Howells, Timo Maas, Audio Jack, Betoko. There’s also the Mahiki Yacht party in the Marina featuring trackside view, DJs, drinks and the Dubai club’s Island Grill Menu.
Across the water, Iris is being taken over by WHITE Dubai on Saturday. And at O1NE, Derulo, Van Buuren, T-Pain and DJ Solomun are all part of the fun. At a VIP Room pop-up at the Radisson Blu, Future and French Montana will be joined by Kim Kardashian on Sunday.
The two biggest parties, however, come in the form of the Amber Lounge and Podium Lounge.
And after all that, if you’re still bored, there’s the small matter of Yas Mall opening its doors.