Saudi Arabia's upcoming Ad-Diriyah Formula E-Prix race – the first in the Middle East – kick starts on Thursday, December 13, marking a new phase of intense car racing on a 2,495-m track, comprising 21 turns with new cars, new drivers, new city circuits and new rules.
Ad-Diriyah Formula E-Prix race marks the beginning of the fifth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, during which all 11 Formula E teams will use their Gen2 cars in competition for the very first time.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority told reporters after a tour of the Ad-Diriyah track: “Formula E in Saudi Arabia feels very real today. In just a few days, the world’s most modern motorsport will thrill crowds here in the heart of Saudi Arabia at this stunning UNESCO Heritage site which honors the kingdom’s past.”
“That is amazing in itself but take a look at what has been created off the track, the ambition of this partnership to bring the ‘Saudia’ Ad-Diriyah E Prix to life is nothing short of inspiring,” he stated.
“Remember, this isn’t just a single race, this is the biggest festival of sport, music, entertainment and culture the Kingdom has ever seen, including six huge global acts performing here for the very first time,” he added.
The three days festival of racing, entertainment and music will feature Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, pop band Black Eyed Peas, Jason Derulo, OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta according to organizers.
There will be laser shows, virtual reality rides, augmented reality experiences and the most contemporary music acts in the world combined with traditional musicians, storytelling, oud, Qanoun and Rababa players, silversmiths and carpentry displays and workshops, photo exhibitions, in addition to traditional camel rides, they stated.
There will also be a time-capsule tunnel transporting people back through time to highlight the Kingdom’s journey through the ages, said the organizers.
In another innovation, organizers will encourage ticket holders to ‘relax and leave the car at home’. In keeping with Formula E’s commitment to sustainability, its races around the world encourage fans to use public transport.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “Saudi Arabia is on a journey towards sustainability and Formula E’s message of renewable energy and working to minimize its environmental footprint is inspiring and important.”
“That’s why, in keeping with other Formula E races around the world, we’ll be encouraging ticket holders to take advantage of the ‘Park & Ride’.”
Carlo Boutagy, the chief executive of CBX, and the official promoter, said it would be an event for all.
“The concerts will be the first totally unsegregated events held in Saudi Arabia as it continues its journey towards a modern, inclusive Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030,” he stated.