Yas Viceroy revs up for sell-out F1 weekend

All rooms booked up for most important four days at Abu Dhabi hotel

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi and regional vice president Andrew Humphries
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi and regional vice president Andrew Humphries

The general manager of Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi has confirmed that all rooms have already been booked out for the upcoming Formula One weekend.

Serving as the final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will this year decide the title, with championship leader Lewis Hamilton and second-place Nico Rosberg separated by 17 points, and 50 points available to the winner.

Andrew Humphries, regional vice president and general manager at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi described the race weekend (November 21-23) as the most important of the year for the hotel.

“There are two elements: it is a very successful weekend financially and it’s critical to our annual financial results,” he explained. “Equally important is the positioning of the hotel. It really does bring the hotel into world focus and it’s critical to our ongoing efforts to promote the hotel.

“F1 is really something we can hang our PR hat on.”

He added that rooms at the hotel had sold out with a few weeks to spare and that a large proportion of this was groups and corporate hospitality, as well as three teams participating in the race itself.

Now embarking on his second race weekend since joining the hotel last year, Humphries explained to Hotelier Middle Eas the challenges faced by his team.

 

“This is not just a busy weekend, but it’s really a world event, particularly now that it’s the last race of the season. The eyes of the world are focused on it. This year particularly as the world champion will be decided. Everyone is watching, whether they are an F1 fan or not.

“The focus increases the intensity, but not the pressure, as everyone here enjoys it. It’s very hard work for everyone but it is fantastic fun and there is a huge sense of satisfaction at running a weekend like this.

“When the dust settles and the petrol fumes clear, there’s an enormous sense of accomplishment from the employees.”

Meanwhile, even though engines have not even started on this year’s race, he is already looking ahead to the 2015 edition.

“We’ve already started again on our thoughts for next year, before this race has even concluded. So it’s a very long ramp up and planning period.

“Obviously each year we do it we get bit better at it and are more prepared. We change things, we improve things and we add innovations. It’s a never-ending cycle of getting ready for the race.”

This year will see the return of the Podium Lounge on the rooftop of the Marina wing at the hotel, while Rich List will take over the club at Viceroy.

The hotel itself will operate Skylite Lounge and new to regular F1 visitors will be independent venue Burlesque, which opened earlier this year.

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