Guide to Formula One weekend in Abu Dhabi

Guide to Formula One weekend in Abu Dhabi

As the countdown to F1 weekend begins, we bring you the most comprehensive guide to the event.

By David Light (senior Reporter)

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2014, 12:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 8:23 PM

You may not like motorsport, you may not even like cars, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time as the Formula One season comes to a close in Abu Dhabi this weekend. As usual there’s more live entertainment than you can shake a stick at, so if the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg thundering round the track don’t get you going, everything listed here will. If you like racing too, then you’re in for the time of your life.

Here we bring you a host of people to listen to, places to eat, fun distractions and even what to wear.


F1 Music

Where do we begin? Honestly there are so many top-notch acts, we are having trouble getting our heads round what’s what.

Obviously the big hitters are going to be Pharrell Williams and The Who, who will be taking centre stage after the car action. The After-Race Concerts at the du Arena represent the ultimate Yasalam celebration. Getting the party started will be four of the Arab world’s most prominent musical superstars, kicking off the first After-Race Concert on November 20. Tamer Hosny - Egyptian movie star and celebrity singer, Carole Samaha – the award winning Lebanese musician and actress, Emirati singer Fayez Alsaeed and Mohammed Assaf of Arab Idol fame from Palestine will grace the stage to serenade fans and entertain race attendees on the first night of the 6th annual Yasalam After-Race Concert weekend.

On Friday, November 21 DJ and producer Armin Van Buuren has created a special, customised show exclusively for Yasalam and will be supported by UAE-based group Hollaphonic for this ultimate dance party set to be a once in a lifetime experience for all those that will witness it.

On Saturday, November 22, the music industry’s current hottest property, Pharrell Williams, will light up the du Arena with his world famous stage persona and raw talent. Then, bringing the race season, Abu Dhabi race weekend and the Yasalam Festival to a celebrated and powerful close on Sunday, November 23, one of rock’s legendary and defining bands of all time - The Who – will take to the du Arena stage for an incredible night of music.

f1 music 2

Over to the Volkswagen presents Beats on The Beach and American singer and producer Miguel will make his UAE debut and join multifaceted performer Jason Derulo, Bollywood talent Hard Kaur and Emirati favourite Ruwaida Al Mahrooqi.

For the first time ever in Abu Dhabi, the California native will bring his famed hits Sure Thing, Do You… and Adorn to the Corniche crowd on Friday, November 21, in a free concert.

The new act fits into the line up of local, regional and global talent. The performances, starting from Thursday will include Filipino music star, Charice, who will team up with rapper Juicy J and Moroccan singing sensation Chada Hassoun and hip-hop artist Two Tone to kick off the weekend.

Saturday, will see one of music’s most in-demand artists, Rita Ora and rising star singer-songwriter Tinashe, bring their chart smashing hits alongside celebrated Lebanese icon, Ragheb Alama and songstress Sabine to deliver a sensational finale to the Volkswagen Beats on the Beach celebrations.

If that’s not enough then club O1NE Yas Island will be featuring Jason Derulo, Armin Van Buuren, T-Pain and Solomun on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

O1NE Yas Island is open till late each night. For ticketing, reservations and Concierge and shuttle service information, please contact: 0 52 7888111 or


Urban Art Zone

A new addition to the Yasalam festival, the Urban Art Zone, will be delivering a fresh level of creativity to the Corniche activities. The public can watch art come to life as old shipping containers and cars are transformed into live graffiti art.

Linking the celebrations on the Corniche and on Yas Island will be the new new Yasalam destination: Yasalam Live at Yas Mall Throughout the race weekend, every day from 3pm – 6pm, Yas Mall will be on the pulse of the festival action as After-Race Concerts and Volkswagen’s Beats on the Beach artists drop by Yasalam Live at Yas Mall for unforgettable interviews, fans’ favourite performers and live music. An unmatched experience, Yas Mall is situated at the heart of Yas Island with non-stop action – fans may even get the chance to be part of a live studio audience and get up close and personal with the artists.

On Friday, dance fans are in for a treat with another exciting addition to the Live on the Corniche activities - Closeup’s competition to find Dubai’s best urban dancers. Closeup has teamed up with Charles Makriss, Owner & choreographer of Makriss Dance Ministry and Nadja Issa, choreographer and Artistic Director of Art in the Air, to conduct the search for the dancers who will join the #SYNCDiN Crew. Auditions will be held in universities and public parks across UAE in the run up to the Live on the Corniche activities. The top 20 dancers will be short listed and asked to form groups of up to 5 members and prepare a special performance which will be judged by Makriss and Issa at Volkswagen Beats on the Beach on November 21. Five final winners will receive a cash prize of up to Dhs10,000 and get a chance to attend a special dance workshop weekend in Beirut with Makriss.


Hakkasan Abu Dhabi

The award-winning Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, has released a tantalising three-course set menu to mark the annual Formula 1 extravaganza.

Highlights include the restaurant’s signature Charcoal grilled silver cod, Jasmine tea smoked Wagyu beef ribs, as well as Hakka steamed dim sum - all made to be enjoyed at the heart of the action.

Formula 1 race lovers can soak up the adrenaline and enjoy this special set menu, perfect for gathering with colleagues or friends. Available on Saturday and Sunday only, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi is open daily from 6pm - 12am and on Saturday from 12pm - 3pm additionally. The set menu is priced at Dhs528 per person (minimum of 2 people).

Call: 02 690 7999

Burlesque is a new hot spot bringing its own unique flavour to the F1 race weekend scene.

Overlooking Yas Marina, Burlesque is located in the heart of Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi and offers a combination of lounge, restaurant and entertainment. Offering a touch of theatrics to the apres F1 scene, the newest addition to the hotel will be filled with live music and a late night DJ.

Call: 056 498 7580.

In fact the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is offering a lot being the world’s only hotel situated in the middle of a Formula 1 racetrack.

Origins restaurant offers avid race fans the perfect location to soak up all the action with trackside views from the comfort of a spacious terrace or air-conditioned restaurant. Serving a selection of international cuisine, enjoy lunch or dinner to the soundtrack of roaring engines. On race day, free-flowing bubbly will set the tone as guests cheer on the winner to the chequered flag.

Those who want a more relaxed option without the view but still experience the F1 buzz can do so with a three course set menu at a variety of restaurants including Amici, offering classic Italian cuisine; Angar serving the authentic tastes of India; or Noodle Box offering contemporary Southeast Asian cuisine. Make a day out of it with the exclusive hotel pass, which will let guests enjoy the day at the hotel, marvel at the array of super yachts docked in the marina and party at the post-race concerts.

Revellers wanting to celebrate into the night can do so in A-list style, with the return of The Podium Lounge at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi every night of the race weekend, Thursday 20 - Sunday 23 November, from 10pm – 5am.

Call: 02 656 0600


The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi has your guide to the latest fashion trends.

The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi


As with previous years, race ticket holders will need to visit Yas Marina Circuit each day to collect their concert wristband for access to the Yasalam After-Race Concert that evening. The concerts are exclusively for race ticket holders. Concert tickets cannot be purchased separately.

Go to for the full Yasalam schedule and details. Also available at

For race tickets call 800 YAS (927), visit or go to Virgin Megastores and Etihad Airways Shops across the UAE.

Get your Yasalam groove on ahead of the race weekend with iTunes’ specially-designed After-Race Concert page. Visit;

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