The Social and economic impact of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Social and economic impact of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Soon after Abu Dhabi’s ruler, Mohammed bin Zayed initiated plans to diversify the economy of the city from depending only on oil. The city embarked on creating tourist attractions that will generate income for the region. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was one of them. It is a formula one motor race held in Yas Marina.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has positively developed the city. It has led to the creation of more hotels, malls, and parks. Before the race began, there were only 68 hotels. Currently, there are more than 115 hotels. The Yas Marina circuit has attracted a large number of tourists. In the last decade, there were more than 1.3 million visitors. 135 000 occupied the grandstands.

The race is watched all over the world. In the US, most of the viewers are the rich or the upper-middle class. This explains why there is a high number of guests in Abu Dhabi hotels. The number increased from 1.5 million guests in 2009 to 4.9 million last year. Apart from the US, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is also watched in Britain. According to the Broadcasters Audience Research Board, the race was watched by 2.9 million viewers in Britain last year. The Grand Prix also disclosed that it had 352.3 million viewers globally last year.

Broadcasting the match has helped in advertising Abu Dhabi to the world. This has led to an increase in the number of tourists. Although the organizers of the match don’t gain from the broadcast of the race and the advertisements. They earn their income through the sale of tickets. The government caters to the hosting of the race and Liberty Media generates revenue from broadcasting.

The track in Abu Dhabi has helped a large number of people in health and fitness purposes. There are several evenings when people are allowed to run around the track for free. There are also fitness programs for women. In 2015, there were more than 220 000 visits for health and fitness purposes.

There is no doubt that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has played a significant role in driving the social and economic progress of the city. It has not only attracted a mass viewership on broadcast media but it has also generated the government revenue through tourist visits. The locals, particularly, women gain from the health and fitness programs held on the tracks. The race has also led to the construction of more hotels and parks to attract more tourists.


Hassan, D., 2013. Economic Impact Report for Volunteers of the F1 Grand Prix 2012 (Abu Dhabi).

Lefebvre, S. and Roult, R., 2011. Formula One’s new urban economies. Cities, 28(4), pp.330-339.

Wise, N. and Harris, J., 2017. Sports events, tourism, development, and regeneration: A perspective from the Gulf States of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar. In Sport, Events, Tourism, and Regeneration (pp. 9-23). Routledge.

Westwood, S., 2011. Branding a ‘new’ destination: Abu Dhabi. Destination Brands, Managing Place Reputation, 3, pp.197-212.

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