Year of the 50th: Dubai Autodrome to host race paying homage to 1981 Grand Prix


Dubai - Event will include historic F1, Group C cars competing from the 70s and 80s


Published: Sat 16 Oct 2021, 1:02 PM

Last updated: Sat 16 Oct 2021, 1:08 PM

In celebration of the UAE’s 50th Anniversary, Dubai Autodrome is hosting the Historic Dubai Grand Prix Revival, Powered by Gulf Historic, paying homage to the 1981 Dubai Grand Prix, which was the first of its kind in the region. Dubai Autodrome, UAE’s first premier motorsport and motoring venue in the Middle East, will hold the momentous race on December 3 this year, and will include all the hallmarks of the event in 1981 with historic F1 and Group C cars competing from the 70s and 80s.

Back in 1981, the first ever Grand Prix in the Gulf was held in Dubai as part of the UAE’s 10th anniversary. The event was organized by then Chief of Police, the 28-year-old Dhahi Khalfan Tamim accompanied by his Major, Saeed Khalfan who was also Chairman of Al Nasr Motor Sports Club. The duo approached Martin Hone to run a one-off Dubai Grand Prix with many of the world’s famous drivers including Nigel Mansel, Juan Manual Fangio, and Stirling Moss, among others.


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Fast-forward 40 years, commenting on the upcoming event, Faisal Al Sahlawi, General Manager at Dubai Autodrome said:" Dubai Autodrome is excited to relive a part of the region’s racing history. It has been decades since that remarkable event that brought racers, drivers and fans to Dubai to witness the first F1 Grand Prix in the region. Since that celebrated event, Dubai has become a host to hundreds of motorsports events. And this year, the public will witness historic Formula 1 cars, Group C cars and more, racing around the 5.39 kilometers Dubai Autodrome Circuit. Our goal is to unite the past with the present as we celebrate the country’s 50th Anniversary. Together with our partners, we wish to bring a family-friendly day at Dubai Autodrome for our visitors."

Set to be a mix of motorsports and festivities, the event will also hold a display of iconic and classic cars, activities for children, raffles and prizes, vintage exhibition stands, as well as a UAE heritage village with live music and entertainment. Celebrity drivers are also expected to attend the most-awaited racing event, and visitors are encouraged to attend dressed in vintage classic style.

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