Having already been involved in the Formula 1 paddock as sponsors of the Spyker/Force India team, Etihad Airways has been named as title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will debut on the F1 calendar in 2009.

Under the terms of the deal, the event - to be held on a new circuit being constructed on Yas Island - will be known as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"To have secured the title sponsorship for the inaugural Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and beyond is a tremendous honour for Etihad Airways and will enable the airline to increase its reach to a global audience," James Hogan, Etihad Airways' chief executive, said. "The 2009 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be an historic occasion for the UAE's capital and Etihad looks forward to welcoming thousands of F1 spectators from across the world to Abu Dhabi."

Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was also quick to welcome the deal.

"Securing a title sponsor of this calibre two years out from the first event is further reinforcement that the region is full of excitement and anticipation for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix," he said.



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