Bahrain expects $60m F1 bonanza
Manama, February 19, 2013
More than $60 million is expected to be generated over three days as the country's biggest sporting event, the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, returns this year, according to a top official.
The 60-day countdown for the event has started, said Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.
It will be held under the slogan Imagine Your Moment on April 19, 20 and 21 at the BIC in Sakhir.
"The official 60-day countdown has now begun," he said during a press conference at the circuit.
"The event generated $60 million last year but those were very challenging times.”
"This time round, we hope to significantly exceed that figure."
The number of visitors is also expected to increase more than the 70,000, who attended last year.
"We think we will come close to matching our biggest-ever turnout of 100,000 fans in 2010," added Shaikh Salman.
"We are sure this will be a highly successful event as always and people will take part with great enthusiasm."
This year's race, the ninth in Bahrain and the fourth in the 2013-14 calendar after Australia, Malaysia and China, will feature several activities for families and race enthusiasts, said Shaikh Salman.
"The slogan reflects both the excitement from all Formula 1 fans ahead of the Grand Prix as well as all the memorable moments people create during the enjoyable time they have at the race," he said.
"We would like all the fans to 'Imagine Your Moment' and feel the excitement of our upcoming event."
Gulf Air acting chief executive officer Maher Salman Al Musallam said the race has become one of the region's most prestigious sporting events.
"The 2013 Grand Prix is expected to draw thousands of fans from across the Middle East and the international community, allowing Bahrain to reap the associated economic benefits," he added.
Earlier, officials said the BIC has signed entertainers from all over the world to be at the Grand Prix, including France, Kenya, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, China and India.
A feature of the Formula 1 Village is the children's entertainment area where there will be a large tent allocated for youngsters to enjoy.
Tickets for all three days of the race weekend or for Race Day alone can be purchased at the BIC stands in Bahrain City Centre and Seef Mall, or at the BIC Welcome Centre located at the circuit entrance. – TradeArabia News Service