As the time draws near for the 2019 Formula 1™ Grand Prix™ races in Abu Dhabi, race fans around the world are already buzzing with excitement.
If you are one of these motorheads who have already bought Formula 1™ tickets or booked any of the fantastic F1™ Experiences Official Ticket Packages, then you’re surely just counting the days.
It’s just weeks away before the official opening of the Formula 1™ season-ending races. Scheduled to be held at Abu Dhabi’s famed Yas Marina Circuit, the much-anticipated event in the racing world will draw fans far and wide.
To ensure that you get the most enjoyable and memorable experience, you have to make sure that you are all set and ready to fly, sail, or drive to the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Especially if it’s your first time, it is best to do your research about the country that you are going to visit. Take time to know the culture as well as the basics such as the climate, the culture, and how to easily get around this dynamic cosmopolis.
To avoid cramming, you should also make sure to allocate enough time to pack your necessities. Here is a compiled list of travel essentials that you should pack in your suitcase:
1. Travel Documents
First and foremost, you must always secure your travel documents ahead of time. Make sure that you have a valid passport and visa. There may be different visa and passport requirements depending on where you are coming from. You can check here if you need to file other passport requirements or apply for a visa.
Citizens from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are not required to present a visa to enter the UAE but will need to present their national ID or GCC country passport at the point of entry. For more information about visas to the UAE, you can visit the Abu Dhabi website for government services.
You should also consider getting yourself travel insurance. This will be a worthy investment to protect you from any untoward incidents that may happen during the trip.
Once you have all your approved travel documents, put them inside your bag right away to avoid leaving them behind. Also, double-check these before you leave.
2. Proper Attire
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix falls during the UAE’s winter months of November to March. While days can be perpetually sunny, occasional rainfall can be expected. Temperatures during this time will be around 24°C on average in the daytime and drop to an average of 13°C when dusk settles.
Having the weather in mind, you should bring slightly warmer clothes compared to the lightweight ones for summer. You should also pack a light jacket, sweater, shawl, or scarf to layer on if the evening becomes chilly.
While Abu Dhabi is pretty liberal when it comes to fashionable clothing, it is best to observe local customs and manners of dress. Avoid wearing very revealing or tight clothing as this is generally frowned upon.
Since Abu Dhabi and race festivities will surely take you to a lot of interesting events, expect a lot of walking around. Bring comfortable footwear so you can enjoy traipsing around.
You should also bring sunglasses, a hat, or a cap to shield your eyes and face from the sun.
3. Medication and Personal Hygiene
Personal medicine that you need to take with you must first be approved. You can visit the UAE’s Ministry of Health website to submit your doctor’s prescription, Emirates ID or passport details and other information. Know that there are 24-hour pharmacies and medical services available for you in Abu Dhabi. You can also dial 999 in case of an emergency.
Aside from medicines, you should also pack sunscreen to block the harmful rays of the sun. Some areas in Yas Marina Circuit are exposed to direct sunlight and heat, so it is best to be ready with sun protection.
4. Gadgets and Accessories
Don’t miss the action by forgetting your camera or video recording devices. You can, of course, still use your smartphone to document your Abu Dhabi adventure.
The power plugs and sockets in the UAE are C, D, and G. The standard frequency used in the country is 50 Hz, and the standard voltage is 220 V. Check if you will need a power adaptor or converter.
Also, do not forget to pack your chargers or battery packs. There’s a full day of festivities you’ll be attending, so you should also be prepared if you want to document them all.
5. Good Manners
One of the most important things that you should bring with you would be your good manners. When you travel to another country, it is important to observe local rules and regulations as well as their customs and traditions.
The official religion of Abu Dhabi is Islam. This is widely practiced and Muslims are required to pray five times a day when the call to prayer is broadcasted through the mosque minarets all around the emirate. You are free to practice your own religious beliefs as long as it does not interfere directly with Islam.
Aside from dressing properly, observe proper decorum especially when out in public spaces. Ask permission first if you want to take photographs of people, especially women and children. Taking pictures of government buildings, airports, ports, and military installations is not allowed.
If you want to make the most out of your trip, then make sure to pack the bare necessities. Doing so will help in making your trip as comfortable and hassle-free as possible. You are free to add to the list above depending on your personal needs and preferences, but the above list should be enough to ensure that you have a fantastic and thrilling race weekend ahead.
Oliver Kent is the Managing Director of ZK Sports & Entertainment, operating in the Middle East for over 10 years now. He is currently leading the company’s recent appointment as the Exclusive Marketing and Sales Agent for F1 Experiences in the Middle East.