Bahrain Grand Prix ticket sales soar
Manama, March 14, 2012
Bahrain’s F1 ticket sales have rocketed by 19 per cent a month before Bahrain is set to host its biggest sporting event, said a top official.
All 34 corporate boxes of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix have also sold out for the first time in history, added Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa yesterday.
The rise in sales compared favourably with the same period before the 2010 event, when over 100,000 fans flocked to the BIC for the racing weekend.
Shaikh Salman said the demand for tickets for the three-day from April 20 to 22 proved the event had become a major attraction for race fans across the region.
A special carnival to celebrate Bahrain's biggest sporting event is being planned in the heart of Manama in a bid to revitalise businesses.
It is hoped the festival to mark the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will revive Bab Al Bahrain after it was severely affected by last year's unrest.
It will feature a shopping bonanza, street performances and raffle draws, among other activities, from April 15 to 30.
'The festival will be held in collaboration with various ministries and traders' associations as well as the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI),' said BCCI chairman Dr Essam Fakhro.
'It will not have any financial burden on the traders and the sole purpose is to showcase Bahrain's tradition and heritage to the world. We encourage everyone to take part and make the festival a success at a time when the eyes of the world will be on Bahrain.'
It came as BCCI board members toured the old Manama Suq for the first time.
They pledged to attract customers back to the suq as several plans are in the pipeline to get businesses back on track.
'Businesses in Bahrain have suffered considerably in the last year but we have been trying our level best to stimulate them again,' said Dr Fakhro.
'Activities in the old suq, the heart of trade in Bahrain, have virtually come to a halt, so we are concerned.'
He said 80 per cent of the businesses in the suq are small and medium enterprises that employ a large number of people.
'These 865 businesses consist of banks, small industries, gold and jewellery shops, apparel and food stores, gift and accessories shops, those selling electrical and household appliances and travel agents, which are critical to the survival of any economy,' said Dr Fakhro. – TradeArabia News Service