Published: November 24th 2009November 24th 2009
Abu Dhabi's brand new Yas Island Marina circuit...The Formula 1 Grand Prix from Oct 30 to Nov 1:
Spread over 4 days, the Ferrari Theme park, located next to the grandstands, was the venue for the after race international concerts, with Beyonce, Kings of Leon, Jamiroquai & Aerosmith. This exciting array of nonstop entertainment came on the back of a month long YASALAM festival of free beach concerts & outdoor cinema plus more.... & prior to that , The International Middle East Film Festival. So it has been non-stop entertainment in the usually slow city of Abu Dhabi.....looks like a more energetic pace of life has arrived in Abu Dhabi as the months cool down ....
The Ferrari theme park is a stunning architectural structure..still under completion, but with its main structure complete, it provided a fantastic amphitheatre to hold the concerts. ( I suggest a look at the Yas Island website for more pics) The exposed underbelly/beams of the structure was dramatically lit throughout the concerts, providing a mysterious and enveloping arena for the music that was pumped out to an enthusiastic audience each night!
I was more interested in the concerts and the overall public
event rather than the cars zooming around the track, but it was an exciting event to partake in, especially as it was the first time the public had been to Yas Island. The island, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, has been under construction for the past two years, with the race track /grandstands/ suite of hotels, including Rotana & Centro Hotels / Yas Marina and Yas Marina Hotel ... all having been built in time for the launch of the Grand Prix.
We were able to visit the nearby Rotana & Centro Hotels for dinner & drinks each night between the race and the start of the concerts. Exotic and comfortable bars & restaurants provided a welcome relief from the hours of heat in the grandstands.... the odd heritage tent with arabic teas on offer/ chill out area beanbags also provided some opportunity for a siesta in the race breaks!
Beyonce & Kings of Leon were pumping entertaining concerts. We were treated to Jamiroquai, great concert but not quite as energetic as the last time I saw him in Melbourne....but that was a few years ago, & we all age! The final night concert was Aerosmith....an acquired
taste perhaps...good for the head bangers.. but I sat that one out up the back of the amphitheatre! Well, I can say I have been to an Aerosmith concert when it next comes up in conversation!....
Meanwhile , the formula 1 & 2 cars zoomed around the track...some good photo opportunities and good people watching in the crowded grandstands.... Overall a very exciting event, with great views from the hotels across the whole circuit and island, especially lit up at night.
There are more photos below