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DED Satisfied with Economic Yield of F1

T. Ramavaman / 6 November 2009

ABU DHABI — The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, or DED, is satisfied with the success of the just-concluded Formula One grand Prix in Yas Marina Circuit as a positioning exercise for the emirate and is confident that it will contribute to the development of Abu Dhabi as a destination of choice to many tourists.

“When we made Yas Marine Circuit we didn’t look at the direct impact from an economic perspective. It was a positioning exercise and I am confident that we succeeded. With a stadium in full capacity, hotels in full occupancy, airlines in full operation, and a city so vibrant, the United Arab Emirates proved to the world that people are still willing to enjoy themselves,” Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of DED said in an interview with Khaleej Times on the economic fallout of the car race.

“Today, everybody from the 600 million persons who watched the formula one, all over the world, is fascinated with what he or she saw, and is definitely planning to visit that man- made wonder, which was achieved by determination and good planning. Even those who were very close to us didn’t believe that we are able to succeed in the race against the clock.”  

“This event has helped in establishing our reputation of a safe country, where anyone can move freely and enjoy life. This will highlight the positive lifestyle and will encourage more people to choose Abu Dhabi and the UAE for holidays, for residence, for business… this goes beyond the direct economic gain but it is encrusted in our wise leadership vision, since the days of the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nehyan, the founder of our nation,” Mohammed Omar said.

Has the event made Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole more confident to go ahead with its ambitious development schemes? “We believe in long-term planning, and that is why we have the Economic Vision 2030. We have never doubted in our abilities, but now I see that more people share this confidence with us, which means more allies and partners in achieving other landmarks,” pat came his reply.

Pointing out that the Vision 2030 was about balance in development, and diversification of the economic base,  Mohammed Omar said “the formula one race, and its byproducts created such a vibe in the city to an extent that all of Abu Dhabi became part of that festivity. We have seen street performances, concerts, parades (such as Ferrari parade from Dubai to Abu Dhabi) and all of these fall under the development of tourism, which is one of the pillars of our Vision 2030.”

On the contributions made by the event on the tourism front of Abu Dhabi he said “event- led tourism is a very promising sector, be it a sports event, a concert or an exhibition….We have started to reinforce our position at the exhibition front with the new premises of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, we are doing well with the continuous success of the classical music festival and other international concerts and performances.”

“In the sports arena, we are hosting the FIFA Club World cup and of course we are celebrating the success of the Formula One grand Prix in Yas Marina Circuit. The future is promising and I truly believe that the United Arab Emirates will become a destination of choice to many, whatever would their expectations be.”

How has the event contributed to establishing a brand name for Abu Dhabi’? To this he said, “Abu Dhabi Brand has being built slowly but surely. We are not aggressive in terms of self promotion as we believe in deeds, as the holy book says “work and Allah will see your deeds, and the believers.”

·         ramavarman@khaleejtimes.ae


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