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Formula 1 fever grips Bahrain

Manama, March 10, 2008

The  Kingdom  of  Bahrain  is  ablaze  with  'Formula  One'  fever  as  the countdown to the biggest sporting and social occasion in the Middle East gets into top gear.

The 2008 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix  on April 4 to 6  will  be a landmark occasion for the Kingdom, marking the fifth running of the event since it brought the world's biggest annual sporting series to the region.

'The run-up to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is a special time for the Kingdom, as worldwide attention  becomes  focused  on  our  race,'  said  Martin  Whitaker,  chief  executive  officer at  the Bahrain International Circuit.

'This year is all the more special, the fifth time that Bahrain has welcomed the Formula One community to the Gulf in our role as the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East. We are dedicated to ensuring that last year's sell-out event is the platform for our best event yet.'

As it has for the past two years, the public build-up to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix began early in the New Year with the Gulf-wide branding campaign which, in every country, looks forward to 'Our Race'. 90,000 people attended in 2007 and campaign reflects the growing importance of the Middle East in world motor sport.

In early February Bahrain staged six days of Formula One testing which were dominated by the reigning champions Kimi Räikkönen and Scuderia Ferrari. Since then the Yalla Bahrain! calendar of free-to-attend cultural and community events has been in full swing, supported for a second year by the Ithmaar banking group, celebrating Bahrain's role as the 'Home of Motorsport' in the Middle East.

Martin  Whitaker,  chief  executive  officer  at  the  BIC,  said:  'People  have  come  to expect  an unforgettable experience at the Grand Prix and really come away from the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix feeling that it is 'their race' whether they are from Bahrain, from within the GCC and even from  Europe.

'We are very  proud that there is so  much  more  on offer  for  the fans each year in terms of entertainment, both on the racetrack and in the public areas, compared to many of the world's other major sporting events.'

Having achieved sell-out status in 2007, an entirely new grandstand is being built for this year's race directly opposite the pit lane exit, increasing capacity to 1600 seats. In addition new cost-effective accommodation packages for international travellers have been put in place to ease the burden on international visitors attending the 2008 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

'Last  year  we  put  together  our  first  set  of  travel  and  accommodation  packages  which  were extremely well-received,' said Shaikh  Salman  bin Isa  Al  Khalifa, Chief  Operating Officer at the BIC,' Whitaker added.

'In 2008 we have come together with Kanoo Holidays to create the best possible range of packages to welcome everyone to Bahrain.'

Prices for the 2008 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix all-inclusive packages start from BD186  ($494) per person for the four nights, inclusive of accommodation and a three-day ticket for the Turn 1 Grandstand with option to change this for a different vantage point for a supplementary charge.

Additionally international flights and transfers to and from the circuit can be included at extra cost, he noted.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Formula 1 | Grand Prix | BIC | countdown | fever |

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