Abu Dhabi Grand Prix update 1

We've arrived at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but it was a bit of a mission to get to the Yas Marina circuit...

The first wave of Yas Marina are the media, all keen to get the best seats in the journos' box. I'm setting off early, anticipating a scrum. Someone else on the Time Out team has our designated parking space, so I've got to make alternative plans. The park & ride buses running from Marina Mall, Zayed Sports City and Shahama (for visitors coming in from Dubai) are not operational yet - you'll read more about them here once they've got their timetable together - so I hitch a lift to Shangri La Hotel, where I transfer to a taxi.

The first traffic driver has no idea what I'm talking about. ‘F1? What is this, F1?' He suggests I try someone else. The next fellow is equally nonplussed, but agrees to allow me to guide him. Not a great start for the city's biggest event so far.

The drive out to Yas Island is an interesting one, in as much as you get to see exactly how little of the surrounding areas is complete. If you were a newby, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd arrived in the wrong location. It's only when you come within sight of the circuit itself, gleaming in the distance like a brand new airport, that you realise things may be good to go. My driver suddenly seems to know best, so we enter through the East entrance, despite all signs suggesting West is best, but this grants us a great view of Ferrari World, where tonight's Beyonce concert will be held. It's an impressive looking building, set to become the world's largest indoor theme park, and the roller coaster launching straight out of the roof is a tasty looking prospect indeed.

Negotiating the various checkpoints proves time-consuming, and my taxi driver - already confused beyond all reason - is made to wear a wristband and starts wringing his hands and looking really nervous (he's probably worn a wristband before and dreads the battle he'll go through to get it off later). Once inside, things are easy enough, but everything is miles apart. Bring plenty of suncream and expect to get seriously fit walking everywhere - or hitch a ride on a golf cart like I did. After all, there's no better way to experience an F1 facility than at battery-powered snail's pace.

More from News

Authorities seek to protect tenants and economy, will Dubai be next?

Book by May 31 for a 30 percent discount on the end-of-season spectacular

New photos released of the Hyperloop test which could cut the Dubai Marina to Saadiyat Island journey to less than nine minutes

Traffic and organisational difficulties mar stellar performance

Family friendly movie season every weekend until April

Musicians supporting Mariah Carey, Tom Jones and Enrique Iglesias in Dubai revealed

Newsletters

Follow us