Dubai sizes up grand prix circuit

19 April 2002

The local Union Properties (UP) announced on 13 April plans to construct a multi-purpose racetrack in the emirate of Dubai, suitable for Formula One (F1) events.

To be called Dubai Autodrome & Business Park, the project is estimated to cost AED 100 million ($27 million). It will call for the construction of a five-kilometre grand prix circuit, a drag strip, a 1.2-kilometre indoor and outdoor go-karting track and an off-road driving course. The grand prix circuit will be approved by the world motor sports governing body, Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The project will also entail the construction of a motor-racing academy and a main grandstand with an initial capacity of 3,000 spectators. The business park will include warehousing facilities and corporate offices.

The project will be located at the intersection of Emirates road and Al-Ain road. The facilities will take about 14 months to complete.

'We have shortlisted two international firms to prepare a conceptual design and study for the project. A selection will be made soon,' says a UP official.

The project is the second if its kind proposed in the Gulf. In July, Bahrain announced plans to construct a racetrack to host F1 events. The track will be located on a site near Bahrain University in Sakhir (Construction, MEED Special Report, 5:4:02; 27:7:01).

Germany's Tilke has completed preliminary designs for the Bahraini complex, which will include a 5.2-kilometre grand prix circuit, a drag-racing strip, a main grandstand for 16,000 spectators, and administration and hospitality buildings. Construction work will take about 12-18 months. The project is estimated to cost BD 30 million ($80 million). The client is the General Organisation for Youth & Sports.

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