Fast and Fervid Fun at F1

Scoring a ticket to one of the world’s most coveted racing events is arguably no ordinary feat. Once you have missed the deadline for purchasing tickets, it undoubtedly becomes about who you know and strategically working your black book. You have to know someone, who knows “someone”, who knows “someone”. And having been dubbed a “newbie” in the UAE, I wasn’t quite sure how compelling my New York swagger would be in procuring a ticket to the ultimate racing extravaganza of the calendar year- the Formula 1 (F1) Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, held every November at Yas Marina Circuit. The F1 Grand Prix draws thousands of visitors each year- racecar junkies, adrenaline feigns, motorsports fans obsessed with speed and power, and visitors simply looking to add to their current acumen of overseas experiences. In fact, the F1 Grand Prix is one of the biggest baits employers use to sell the “UAE package” to their future employees.F1weekendracetrack1

The F1 racing celebrations take place over the course of three heart thumping days, providing raw, electrifying entertainment for all motorsports fans. If ever there is an event that is synonymous with decadence, over the top luxury and opulence, this would be it. Mega and super yachts line the docks of Yas Marina, each one proving to be grander and more gobsmackingly wicked than the last. The yachts provide a glamorous venue for many of the day and nighttime festivities, delivering exclusive non-stop partying and entertainment for die hard party-goers. Securing entrance onto the docks of one of these 150 feet “bad boys” requires a VIP wrist band –status quite attainable if you are well-connected with local influencers as well as if you are a woman who knows how to deftly and confidently orchestrate her entrance into high profile events.



As a woman, you needn’t be bedecked in the world’s finest jewels or bedizened as if you are going to a red carpet soiree to finagle your entry into the racing arena. You simply need to be adept at doubling up the charm, especially when attempting to get in on the unannounced “two for one” deal as I was (My girlfriend was the one who scored tickets for all three days as a result having lived in the Middle East for the past 15 years). It is unlikely that unpretentious sophistication and glamour would be turned away at the door.


I am not advocating that you “chat up” the doormen to secure your access to the racing events, but do prop yourself up at the bar at the swanky Yas Viceroy Hotel, which will provide you with stellar, un-obscured views of the racetrack. Latitude Bar, which is located on the rooftop of the Viceroy Hotel is lively and offers the perfect pre-race drinking experience. Here you can connect with the power brokers of the UAE who always seem to have on hand, a surplus of wristbands, which will grant you access into the pre-race day parties and post race after-parties.


Everything about “being on set” for this event exudes class and sophistication. Everyone shows up in dandified splendor- from the local men elegantly dressed in national dress (dishdashas and ghutras) to the Western women trotting around the race venue in their hand picked designer dresses. If you are a racecar enthusiast or a resident of the UAE, you want to make sure that you mark your calendar for F1 2015 (November 27-29).

Tips for those individuals who are meticulous in their planning and who like to know well in advance what they will be doing:

1. Book a room now at the Yas Viceroy Hotel for the Nov. 2015 F1 Grand Prix (

2. Make reservations for lunch or dinner at Origins Restaurant, whose terrace overlooks the Yas Marina Circuit.
3. Buy tickets for race day at

Tips for those individuals, like myself, who can indubitably be classified as your “fly by night” gal

1. Be prepared to pull some audacious moves (smooth talking is allowed here).

2. Be aware of cultural nuances. Here it is about class structure, so unfortunately folks who work in the stadium as security guards and attendants do not have any “pull”. In your home country, you may be accustomed to security guards valiantly escorting you to the front row at their discretion. However, security guards in the UAE do not have the authority to “hook” you up, for fear of losing their jobs and be sent home packing.
3. And most importantly, be brazen. Act as if you belong. Never ask questions, never ask permission, just carry on or else you will be stopped at the front door and told that “there is no guest list tonight”.

And if you somehow missed the glitz and glamour of the Formula 1 weekend because you happened to be out of town on business or simply failed to heed my advice, you can still experience “the rush” of F1 racing by booking a SST passenger experience at Yas Marina Circuit.


The SST passenger experience will give you the opportunity to get “suited up” and have a first hand feel of what it’s like to be driven around a racetrack in a low slung two-seater at 140-150 miles per hour. $100 a person will get you two hot laps with a professional driver.



If being driven around a racetrack at monstrously fast speeds isn’t appealing to you, then you can choose from an array of riding experiences that will indulge and engage both novice and experienced racers. And yet, if you are still yearning to fully experience the intoxicating roar of racecar engines, then you can always catch the next F1 race in the Middle East due to kick off in Manama, Bahrain on April 19, 2015.



See you on the racetrack, my friend!!!!

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