Quincy Jones, Sophie Ellis-Bextor at F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


Under the exclusive invitation of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), some of the world’s leading tour operators, a 22-strong international media corp and potential hospitality sector investors are heading to Abu Dhabi this weekend to attend the third F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and get a taste of the emirate’s latest unique product offerings.

Joining the invitees at the Authority’s F1 Paddock Club Suite are American Grammy-winning record producer Quincy Jones, who produced the global charity hit ‘We are the World’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ album and the UK’s hit singer, songwriter and model Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Two sporting stars – Fabio Cannavero, captain of Italy’s World Cup winning soccer side and Matteo Mannasero, ADTA’s golfing ambassador and multiple European Tour winner – will also attend. ADTA is using the F1 event as the highlight for hosted itineraries which include trips to Al Ain to see the UNESCO Heritage sites, overnight stays in the Qasr Al Sarab Desert resort and the Desert Islands Resort ‘&’ Spa on Sir Bani Yas Island, tours of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, trips to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, rounds of golf on the emirate’s three championship-ready courses and tours of the award-winning Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

The invite list includes 22 journalists from 12 countries, mainly the tourism and lifestyle editors of leading newspapers and magazines as well as TV stations, the Presidents and CEOs of 11 of the most influential, specialised travel and tourism operators across nine countries including Thomas Cook UK, Il Viaggo and Ali Viaggi of Italy, Sodis and Art Tour of Russia, Hua Yuan International of China, the USA’s SITA World Tours and Goway, NG Tours of France, Al Fursan Travel of Saudi Arabia and Germany’s Airtours.

“We are pushing the envelope with the selection of these specialist tour operators to ignite their interest in packaging around our dynamic international events programme and niche offerings in cruise, education, culture ‘&’ heritage, and sports ‘&’ adventure,” explained Dayne Lim, Product Development Director, ADTA.

The authority’s guests will also attend Friday’s Chequered Flag Ball at the new, five-star St. Regis Saadiyat Island – the event which kick starts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix social calendar.

“The Grand Prix, with its excitement, impressive Yas Marina Circuit with the Yas Viceroy and marina as a backdrop affords us the opportunity to show Abu Dhabi at its very best. We are looking for these hosted guests to ‘buy into’ the destination and become unofficial ambassadors for it. We host them on individually-tailored programmes so that they may get a well-rounded impression of the emirate,” explained Lim.


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