2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Getting Around Guide

Posted on 09 June, 2023

Your guide to getting around at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 23-26 November, including the best ways to get the most out of your visit to Yas Marina including practical travel information, where to stay and the best things to do away from the track. 

Practical Information

  • Visa: Citizens from the GCC countries are granted visa-free entry to the UAE, while those from a further 60 countries get a free Visa on Arrival for either 30 or 90 days. Everyone else needs to apply for a visa in advance via a local consulate. 
  • Currency: Emirate Dirham, or AED. The Dirham is fixed to the $USD at a rate of 3.67. You can pay for most items with a card, but it's always worth bringing along some cash as ATMs are also easy to find. Tipping is not expected, but adding 10-15% to your bill for good service is common.
  • Language: Arabic, but English is widely spoken, especially in the service sector and at Yas Marina Circuit. 
  • Law & Order: Visitors to the UAE should be aware of - and always abide by - the country's strict laws, which are especially strict when it comes to displays of public affection, drunken behavior, dressing immodestly, using illegal drugs, criticizing UAE's government & soliciting for escorts. 
  • Time Zone: UTC/GMT +4 hours
  • In an Emergency: Dial 999 for Police, 998 for Ambulance, 997 for Fire. 
  • Power Sockets: Type C, D & G. European plugs should work in the UAE, but it's always safer to carry a good quality international adapter.
  • Weather. The weather in Abu Dhabi is sunny and hot all year round, with very little rainfall. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix falls during the start of the mild winter months. Daytime temperatures average 30°C (86°F), falling to a low of around 20°C (68°F).

Arrival & Getting Around

Flights to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is just 10 km from Yas Marina and it’s not uncommon to see planes above the circuit as they take off or land! AUH is also the home of Etihad Airways, the flag-carrier for the United Arab Emirates and the title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Etihad offers daily connections with many European and other global hubs, but they are not alone. More than 40 airlines offer direct flights to Abu Dhabi from destinations as far away as Australia and the USA. Flying into Dubai International Airport (DXB) should also be on your radar, especially if you prefer flying with Emirates. DXB is only 95 km from Yas Marina and 120 km from the centre of Abu Dhabi. One of the world's largest airports, Dubai offers more routes than Abu Dhabi and flights may be cheaper.

Where to stay for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The best place to soak up the atmosphere of the final race on the calendar is Yas Island, within walking distance of the circuit. F1® Experiences offers accommodation at the iconic W Abu Dhabi Yas Island Hotel overlooking the circuit on race weekend. Alternatively, you may choose to stay downtown (near Corniche Boulevard is a good area) and commute to the circuit each day. Coach transfers are also available (for an additional cost) for F1® Experiences hotel guests, with the expectation of guests staying on Yas Island. 

How to get from Abu Dhabi to Yas Marina Circuit

  • Booked accommodation along with your Official Ticket Package from F1® Experiences? Daily transfers to and from the circuit can be added to your Official Ticket Package for an additional cost.
  • Yas Marina is approximately 30 km from the centre of Abu Dhabi. Taking a taxi or Uber is probably the easiest way to get to the circuit but getting a taxi home can be a bit tricky, especially after the concerts. Walk a short distance to the entrance of Yas Mall for more taxis rather than waiting at the exit gates, or book a taxi in advance.
  • Public bus route 190 also operates from the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station to Yas Island. Tickets are cheap, but the buses aren’t that frequent and also fill up at peak times. Additional bus routes also operate from other parts of Abu Dhabi. For the best routes and up-to-date information, use Google Maps.
  • Decided to rent a car in Abu Dhabi? Yas Marina is easily accessible from the centre of Abu Dhabi via the E12 motorway to the north or the E10 motorway to the south. Parking next to the circuit is limited and needs to be booked in advance. Alternatively, you can park at the Yas Mall for free and take the Yas Express bus to the circuit.

How to get from Dubai to Yas Marina Circuit

  • Dubai is about 120 km from Yas Marina. A taxi should take around 90-120 minutes, highly dependent upon traffic.
  • Driving yourself is another option. Take the Yas Marina main E11 motorway from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, then the E10 motorway to the circuit; the parking advice above also applies.
  • For those on a budget, you can also take a bus to Abu Dhabi from the Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in the centre of Dubai. Tickets are cheap but the journey takes at least 2 hours, and you will then need to take the 190 bus from the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station to the circuit.

What to see & do in Abu Dhabi

Stroll along the Corniche: The Corniche is an 8km boulevard of beaches, cafés, restaurants and hotels that forms the epicentre of city life in Abu Dhabi. Take a walk, hire a bicycle or go swimming at one of the many beaches along the Corniche, all of which have blue-flag status and lifeguards on duty; choose from free beaches or paid “family beaches,” which prohibit single males from entering. Find a table at a beachside restaurant or café for views of the sunset, or head to the nearby Observation Deck at 300 on Level 74 of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers for an incredible panorama from the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi.

Get your art fix at Louvre Abu Dhabi: Escape the scorching daytime heat with a visit to the newly-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first branch of the famous art museum to open outside of France. Housed in a stunning low-slung building in the emerging Saadiyat Cultural District, the museum embraces an openness of cultures and thus features a dizzying array of art and cultural artifacts from all over the world, including many significant pieces on loan from the original Louvre in Paris.

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: A modern masterpiece completed in 2008, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest and most impressive mosques. Capable of holding up to 40,000 worshippers, even non-believers will be awed by the sheer scale and architectural might of this colossal white building. Don't forget to dress modestly (covering your arms and legs), otherwise you'll need to rent a gown. A large parking garage and mall with shopping and food outlets is located underneath the mosque. Sunset is the best time to visit.

Go on a Desert Safari: Escape the city to experience the vast desert areas surrounding Abu Dhabi to take part in dune walks, camel trekking, falconry shows and dune bashing. If you can spare the whole day, the trip to Liwa is well worthwhile. This secluded desert oasis is the gateway to Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass and home to the 300-meter Tel Moreeb sand dune. If you can only spare a half day, various tour companies run sunset tours closer to Abu Dhabi involving 4x4 dune bashing, followed by dinner and cultural entertainment.

Hit the Water: From sedate sunset cruises to adrenaline-fueled speedboat rides, not to mention kayaking and paddle boarding, there are plenty of ways to experience the calm, clear waters of the Persian Gulf. Take the ferry from Jebel Dhanna to Sir Bani Yas Island, home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, or further afield to Dalma Island to learn more about the ancient traditions of pearl farming. The Yellow Boats run different tours taking in some of the city’s best sights, including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Corniche, while Jailboot does fishing tours, island hopping and more.