Bahrain Grand Prix is a business blockbuster
The 2008 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on April 4-5-6 will be the biggest sporting, social and business networking event in the Middle East when Formula One makes its fifth visit to the Middle East. The Bahrain International Circuit today announced that the 34 VIP corporate lounges above the Main Grandstand are now completely sold out to blue chip regional and international clients, with maximum capacity in sight in the Oasis Lounges and the Formula One Paddock Club™.
"The growth of popularity of Formula One and motor sport in general amongst sports fans in this region since the BIC was built is extraordinary and highly rewarding to see," said Martin Whitaker,Chief Executive Officer at the BIC. "It is no less important that corporate interest is following suit, with the step-by-step increases in corporate sales that we have seen through the first four Bahrain Grands Prix taking a huge leap for 2008. Almost every key decision maker in the Middle East business community is expected in Bahrain either as a host or a guest in one of the VIP areas, underlining what an invaluable tool for commerce motor sport can be."
The BIC's five star catering service is gearing up to accommodate the huge number of corporate guests expected over the three days of the event, with additional staff being recruited to meet the demand for such vital services as security, car parking, cleaning and waiting on tables. Meanwhile, the larders and refrigerators are being stocked with more than 10 tonnes of fresh produce and 100,000 litres of refreshing drinks to ensure that ample supplies are in place to ensure a comfortable stay in the Sakhir desert for the visiting VIPs. For the business visitors there is also the allure of the first Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East on April 1-2, which will bring together the leaders of the commercial world of motor sport and many key decision makers from the Middle East. In the past four years the Middle East is estimated to have invested more than $12 billion in building international motor sport building venues, investing in teams and motor manufacturers and as sponsors. The Forum will act as the conduit for knowledge and information to ensure the maximum benefit on that investment can be achieved and build new opportunities.
Meanwhile, a feast of entertainment is expected on the track for everyone at the 2008 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, with the third race in this year's FIA Formula One World Championship expected to produce another titanic battle between the Ferrari, BMW and McLaren-Mercedes teams for victory in the Grand Prix and supporting action from the region's biggest circuit racing series, the Lumina CSV Championship Middle East, where the final round will see Bahrain's Fahad Al Musalam and Saudi Arabia's Abdulaziz Al Yaeesh with their eyes on the prize of a test drive in the V8 Supercars Australia.
Formula One's traditional support race, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup gets its season underway in Bahrain with the field of exotic Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machines providing glamour and super-fast racing, while the new GP2 Asia acts as a feeder category to the top level of the sport for drivers from across the Middle East and Asia and the all-star Speedcar Series for NASCAR-style stock cars brings out veteran entertainers such as former Grand Prix winners Jean Alesi and Johnny Herbert in dramatic racing action.
© 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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