100,000 expected to attend Bahrain F1
Manama, April 19, 2012
Crowds of up to 100,000 are expected to attend the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix which begins tomorrow (April 20), said a top official, adding that “everything is done to ensure it is a perfect event”.
'This is also a huge message for all those sceptics who were saying all kinds of things. It is a message for them to think that they should see first and then speak and not depend on hearsay,” said Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed Al Zayani, promising a show that F1 fans will never forget.
'We are going to have one of the best races we have hosted and we have pulled out all stops to ensure that happens.'
More than 200 journalists from the international media are set to cover the three-day event and up to 30,000 on race day.
But Al Zayani said almost all of the Western media's information about Bahrain in the build-up to the event was based on unreliable sources and not on the facts.'Now that the international media is here, they can see for themselves what is going on,' he said.
He said many visitors had been in Bahrain for more than a week and travelling around the country. 'No one has said anything other than what a welcoming place Bahrain is.' He said security concerns were 'far from my mind' at the moment.
'The last thing I am worried about is security,' he said. 'It is far from my mind. I am organising the race and that is what I am going to do. There are people in charge of security and they are doing their job.'
He said there were 'fool-proof arrangements' for the event. 'Sure there is security but it is unobtrusive. Everything has been taken care of,' he added.
Al Zayani said officials in Bahrain race had built up a solid reputation over the years.
'The people we have trained are in great demand everywhere and were highly-appreciated when they helped conduct India's first Grand Prix last year,' he said. 'There are highly trained people getting ready to go to Russia for its inaugural grand prix in 2014.'
BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said preparations were in full swing for the event. 'World class entertainment, visitors from all over the world and thousands of people from Bahrain attending will make the event memorable. Bahrain is ready.'
Meanwhile, ahead of the race, a group of rioters were arrested for staging illegal demonstrations and blocking roads and attacking people and police with Molotov cocktails, iron rods and stones, said Chief of Public Security Major General Tariq Al Hassan.
And General Director of Traffic Colonel Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Sabah Al Khalifa said a comprehensive traffic plan had been put in place for F1. – TradeArabia News Service