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Abu Dhabi extends contract to host Formula 1 Grand Prix

The announcement comes after yearly sell-out events since the inaugural race in 2009 on Yas Island

Published: Updated:

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit will remain a feature of the Formula 1 World Championship calendar after a multi-year extension of the promoter’s license, the Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management said Thursday.

According to a press release, the current agreement between the promoter and Formula One World Championship Limited (FOWC) was due to expire after the 2016 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race and the announcement reflects both parties’ ambition to “lock in the Grand Prix for future years at an early opportunity.”

The announcement comes after yearly sell-out events since the inaugural race in 2009 on Yas Island, the home of Yas Marina Circuit.

More than 125,000 local and international spectators are expected in the emirate over the weekend for this year’s race.

“Nearly 50 percent of all spectators are overseas visitors to the UAE and those attending the race represent more than 120 nationalities,” according to the press release.

“This race and the Yas Marina Circuit has introduced Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to tens of millions of visitors and TV viewers from around the world,” Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, the chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, said.

“We remain committed to continually delivering a better experience for the Formula 1 family and ticket holders,” he added.

“It is a mark of the quality of our partnership with Formula One World Championship that we both want to focus on looking forward and on delivering many more successful races.”

Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One group of companies, said: “Abu Dhabi has played an important part in pioneering the modern era of Formula 1 racing.”

“I said when the Yas Marina Circuit was opened that it may one day be matched, but it will never be bettered. The island has continued to transform each year. We have a wonderful partner here,” Ecclestone said.