November 27 will see only the third time that the drivers’ championship will be decided by the race at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina. But that’s not the only decision that will need to be made over the UAE capital’s Grand Prix weekend. There’s also the question of where to go. The party kicks off on November 24 with events around town. Here’s our guide to what’s going on.
Pitbull: The Grammy-winning US rapper — aka Mr Worldwide — performs at du Arena. Expect to hear We Are One (Ole Ola), the official theme of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Entry is open to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket holders only, however. Also for ticket holders is the opening of the F1 Village at Yas Marina Circuit.
Beats on the Beach: Free music abounds at the Abu Dhabi Corniche with consecutive nights of performances by international and local music acts. On November 25 Arab boy band The 5 make their UAE debut. Touted as the Middle East’s answer to One Direction, these former X Factor Middle East finalists will be joined by Jamaican dancehall musician Sean Paul, Adham Nabulsi (another X factor protégé) and UAE-based teen singer Esther Eden.
November 26 sees songstress Nancy Ajram a.k.a the Arab world’s nightingale, American hip hop artist Travis Scott and upcoming British urban duo Krept and Konan perform. Doors open at 6.30pm, Lagoon Beach, Abu Dhabi Corniche.
F1 FanZone: Get down to the Corniche by 4pm to see a display by the Red Arrows, and check out the rest of the fun at this family entertainment area. There’s the Urban Art Zone, the fourth annual Get Driver Fit fitness drive.
MAD: The club on Yas Island also has a hip-hop focus: T-Pain will perform on Thursday (with Sean Paul and Rita Ora on November 25, Travis Scott on November 26 and Future on November 27). Tickets are Dh300 at the door for men, including two beverages. Entry is free for women. Call 055-8346262 for table bookings.
Mobilee: Classical, techno, house, pop and world take over the airwaves when DJs Anja Schneider and Ralf Kollmann perform at Skylite Rooftop Lounge, Yas Viceroy hotel as part of the F1 Mobilee Rooftop World Tour. Tickets are at platinumlist.net, from Dh499, and include canapes until 9.30pm, and free beverages between 8-9pm. The event will begin at 8pm and go on until 4am.
Yasalam After-Race concerts: Throughout the weekend the du Arena comes alive with three headlining acts. November 25 English electronic-duo The Chemical Brothers perform for the first time in the UAE. Expect to hear hit dance anthems Hey Boy Hey Girl, Block Rockin Beats and Star Guitar. American crooner Lionel Richie performs on November 26. The five-time Grammy winner will mellow things out with hit ballads Dancin’ on the Ceiling, Hello and All Night Long.
Keeping the best for the last, Barbadian pop singer Rihanna performs at the closing ceremony on November 27 as part of her ANTI world tour. The Work hit maker will pump up the tempo with chartbusting singles Umbrella, Diamonds and new single Needed Me. Entry to After-Race concerts is open to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket holders only. Tickets from Dh525 were still available at time of going to press on ticketsyasmarinacircuit.com
Amber Lounge F1 post-race party: British artist Jay Sean of Make my Love Go fame performs at this F1 pop-up party at Yas Golf Links on November 26 and November 27. Hobnob with F1 drivers and celebrities. Individual day passes with access to all areas start from Dh3,030. Email email@example.com for bookings.
VIP Room, Cipriani Yas Island: The Dubai nightspot’s pop-up club in the Yas Marina Building dials it up with performances by DJ Luciano and Paris Hilton on November 25 and rap legend Drake on November 26. Renditions of Hotline Bling, One Dance and other hits won’t come as a surprise - but the celebrity guests who will attend the after-party, hosted by Drake and Rihanna’s brother Gallest on November 27, will. Could Riri put in an appearance? Call 052-8818888.
Iris Yas Island: Turkish DJ and producer Mahmut Orhan of summer hit ‘Feel’ performs at the Sunset Sessions on November 25 (from 5pm) followed by eloctronic music duo HVOB (from 11pm). November 26 sees nightlife concept The WHITE Dubai Experience return with live dancers and DJs (from 11pm) and Grammy-nominated British music producer Nic Fanciulli performs on November 27. Entrance is Dh300 for men including a beverage; free entry for women. Call 055-1605636 or email Reservations@irisabudhabi.com
Refuel: Make a pitstop at these Yas Island restaurants for a bite without missing the action. Lebanese restaurant Rozannah, Café D’Alsace and American sports bar Stars N Bar will be airing the race live on large screens for patrons.
Dubai lives up to its party credentials this F1 weekend, Ibiza style. DJ Sam Divine plays sets at the iconic Jumeirah Beach Hotel nightspot 360 on November 25. Call 055-5008518. Blue Marlin Ibiza is hosting the EDM-centric Circo Loco party on November 25. Welsh DJ Jamie Jones, producer Kerri Chandler and Canadian music group Art Department headline. Free entry. From 1-11pm. November 26, Dubai DJs Schooly and Charl Chaka perform during the season’s last brunch. From 1pm. Brunch packages from Dh275. Call 056-1133400.