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See the transformation of Yas Island in pictures

The inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be held this weekend around the all-new, state-of-the-art Yas Marina street circuit - a facility that has undergone a remarkable transformation since 2007...
From the official confirmation back in early 2007 that it was to stage a round of the F1 World Championship from 2009 onwards, Yas Island – home to this weekend's inaugural, season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – has changed so much that it is now barely recognisable anymore.

Lauded as one of the most sophisticated and technologically-advanced motorsport facilities ever built, the Hermann Tilke-designed, 5.55km Yas Marina street circuit began as a 25-kilometre-squared area of land north-east of the mainland, and – incredibly given what it has since become – devoid of any roads, electricity or water supply.

Since then, the circuit, raised and covered grandstands, state-of-the-art hospitality and pit buildings, unique pit-lane exit tunnel [see separate story – click here], air-conditioned garages, podium, five-star Yas Hotel that straddles the track, drag strip, driving academy and yacht club have all taken shape thanks to the unstinting efforts of a 14,000-strong workforce investing 35 million man hours into the venture. A capacity crowd of 50,000 spectators is expected on race day to witness the day-into-night spectacle, during which drivers will speed along the longest straight in present day F1.

Yas Island is one of the most highly-touted projects within Aldar Properties' current portfolio, and the completion of the Yas Marina Circuit represents phase one of the entire Yas Island development. The ultimate aim is to turn it into a multi-purpose venue boasting theme parks, signature hotels, marinas, golf courses and world-class hotels. Year-round, the circuit will host an extensive programme of leading international and national motor racing series', as well as major entertainment events and corporate activities.

To see the progress of the development in pictures, click here

Related Pictures

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Located on the north-east side of Abu Dhabi’s mainland, Yas Island is 2,500 hectares or 25 square kilometres. Prior to 2007, Yas Island had no amenities or facilities – including roads, electricity or water supply. Conveniently located, Yas Island is 20 minutes from the centre of Abu Dhabi, ten minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 50 minutes from Dubai [pic credit: Yas Marina Circuit]
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Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
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Al - Unregistered

October 27, 2009 12:22 PM

Just goes to show what you can do when you have $4bn to waste! It's the tools prepared to spend this sort of money that are killing the classics. Bernie expects all circuits to match this whilst at the same time making the event so expensive that circuits are going to make a loss on them... something is very wrong there.

Al - Unregistered

October 27, 2009 5:41 PM

tom, if you're idea of progress is to run with only those circuits that can afford to make a loss, god help F1s future... there are already plenty of countries saying it's too expensive (including Govt backed China), so maybe BE should go back to what he was saying earlier this year, reduced costs should mean cheaper tickets at race meetings. I can't see that working unless Bernie actually reduces the costs to the circuits (he still gets all TV and circuit advertising revenue) or agrees a profit sharing scheme to make sure the circuits remain viable. I'd personally prefer to see a good mix of the old and new circuits.

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