The Grand Prix – a bucket list item for JB for many years. Me…not so much! Abu Dhabi – a travel wish list place for many years. JB…not so much. When the two collide then it’s a recipe for a successful trip!
We booked our trip at the start of 2019 and suddenly, it was the last week of November and we were going in a few days time. Many regular readers will know what we’ve visited Dubai on several occasions and love it there. It holds a special place in our hearts as it’s where we got engaged.
We stayed at the Beach Rotana hotel. A large complex with some 565 rooms and 12 restaurants on site. What kind of blogger doesn’t take any photos of the actual hotel room?! What a fail!! Our room was huge. We’d been upgraded to a Premium Room so that we could access our room as soon as we arrived so that we could get a few hours sleep. The bathroom had Elemis products which is always a winner. My only criticism was that the food at the hotel was quite expensive and there wasn’t a lot of other choice within walking distance. Our first lunch, which was a delicious Italian, cost us nearly £100 (with no alcohol!).
The organisation of the Grand Prix is incredible. Taxis drop you off in an allocated area next to your grandstand. Your ticket will only let you in that particular grandstand so there’s no chance of getting lost. There is a free shuttle that takes you around the whole circuit if needed especially useful if you want to get to the huge mall or the du Arena.
Once you’re inside your grandstand area there’s the usual merchandise stands so you can get kitted out in your favourite teams kit. There were small food stands kiosks which sold food from each country of the drivers (the food wasn’t the best!). As UAE is a dry country, there was a bar area selling alcohol but for inflated prices. I’m pretty sure a Jack Daniel’s and Coke would set you back close to £25!! We stuck to a couple of cold refreshing pints of Heineken!
Our tickets included entry to the after race concert each night. By some miracle, the last night was my favourite band – The Killers! We’d heard it was Red Hot Chilli Peppers which we would have been pleased with but a few days before we left, the announcement changed to The Killers!!
We didn’t get back to our hotel until nearly midnight, then had drinks at the bar with some people we’d met in the taxi queue and our taxi was picking us up at 9.30am. On reflection we would have stayed the Monday giving us another day to chill.
Would we go to another Grand Prix – yes. Would we go to Abu Dhabi again…probably not. If an offer came up for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Absolutely!