Curtain closes down on the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2007 road show

Published March 12th, 2007 - 07:44 GMT

With less than five weeks to go for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2007, one of world's most watched events, the hosts Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) and Gulf Air today revealed a range of programs and packages for motorsport enthusiasts in the UAE.

The only Formula One race to be held in the Middle East ¬ the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2007, at the BIC, will take place on 13, 14 and 15 April 2007.

Expectations are already high for the event - the third round of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship - and excitement is in the air following the tremendous successes of the past three Grand Prix events that have set new standards in the promotion of the sport worldwide.

“This has become a very special time of year for the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Gulf region as a whole,” said BIC’s General Manager, Martin Whitaker.

"We are preparing for what has become the biggest sporting and social occasion of the year; an event that continues to grow and to win over new fans among the communities of the GCC and across the wider Middle East.

“Right now we are pleased to announce the architecture of our event. It is our honor and privilege to have paved the way for Formula One in the Middle East.”

Building on the achievements and the growing popularity, Gulf Air and BIC have lined up a program of events and exciting packages for motor sport lovers of UAE to watch the world’s biggest annual sporting series.

With high demand coming from the United Arab Emirates, Gulf Air has once again come up with an all-in-one, day-packages for race lovers to travel from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to watch the event and return on the same day.

“The demand for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in the UAE is much better than expected and our prices this year are more attractive to tap into the most potential F1 market and one of the highest selling points in the region,” says Gulf Air General Manager United Arab Emirates Maen Abdulhalim.

“We sold several hundred packages last year and this year the packages are selling very very fast all across the seven emirates and we have put additional capacity from here specially for the main race day,” says Abdulhalim.

For just Dirhams 1,750 per person from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the package includes an entrance ticket to watch the race, return economy class airfares from the destinations to Bahrain, meet and greet service at the Bahrain International Airport, coach transfers from airport to Bahrain International Circuit and back, a goodie bag containing cap, ear plugs and a water bottle cooler.

Other packages are also available for travel in business class and watch the race from other vantage points at the circuit. These are exclusive to Gulf Air and it's the only way a person can purchase an all-inclusive package that takes care of everything.

"The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is the trend setter and no doubt the biggest motor sport event in the Middle East and we hope make this a bigger and more successful event each year,” Abdulhalim adds.

Under the banner of (Yalla Bahrain!) (Let’s go, Bahrain!), a full schedule of cultural and community events will again precede the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, supported by many of the biggest stars in the sport.

Last year, the inaugural Yalla Bahrain! calendar brought tens of thousands of visitors to the Kingdom into close contact with motor sport ¬ and they were met by the likes of British number one Jenson Button, seven-time Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello and Ferrari¹s rising star Felipe Massa in the month-long celebrations.

Many of the Yalla Bahrain! events were focused around the two official Formula One tests held on February 22-24 and February 27-March 1.

“Bahrain offers the ideal venue for pre-season testing, and we were pleased to welcome the teams, the fans and the media for some valuable time on the track and among the community” said BIC’s Marketing and PR Manager, Samer Al Shaikh.

“The teams, the tyre manufacturers and the fuel and lubricants experts discovered that running on our circuit in our climate was the ideal baseline not only for Bahrain but also for Australia and Malaysia. Furthermore the way that everyone contributed their time towards meeting the fans in this new market for the sport was greatly appreciated and left a big impression on both sides.”

“We had two open days for the public were over 5,000 fans flocked the circuit to cheer their favorite team and driver.”

“Looking ahead to this year’s Yalla Bahrain! events we will be bringing the public and personality of the Gulf deeper into the celebrations. The events include a drive in cinema and drift night, a community lead painting project and a cavalcade on the streets of Bahrain.”

Each of the Yalla Bahrain! events will build towards a crescendo at the 2007 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, creating a two-month celebration of the sport across the region. Having brought Formula One to a completely new market just three years ago, Bahrain is recognized not only as the (Home of Motorsport in the Middle East), but also as the beating heart of a burgeoning motor sport industry.

As the Kingdom of Bahrain is preparing to host its fourth Formula One Grand Prix with an event to match the status that has been built up internationally around the successes that preceded, the attention now has turned towards increasing the tangible benefits to the Kingdom and the neighboring countries in future. In just three years the standards set by the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix have raised expectations around the world to an all-time high, but the Kingdom is ready to deliver.

“Investment in the kind of terms demanded by motor sport is a serious business, which was recognized by the Kingdom from the outset,” he said.

“Nonetheless the return on that investment, the value of which is increased ten-fold by the commitment of the entire country, has been enormous. It is through events such as the entire 2007 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix that we will continue to grow those returns in future.”

“Tickets for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix have gone up 15 percent compared to last year’s figures. We are expecting a huge crowd to turnout to the event and our team is ready to welcome everyone to the Kingdom of Bahrain,” concluded Samer.



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