Dubai: There is a price to be paid for watching the F1 from a ringside seat. Abu Dhabi's average daily hotel rates are higher by a staggering 265 per cent during the Grand Prix week compared to the rest of the year. In this, Abu Dhabi hotels are placed second among cities hosting the annual F1 races. The emirate's hotels are behind Monaco, where rates shoot up 499 per cent during race week, and ahead of those in Sao Paulo, where rates go up 165 per cent.
So, while for the rest of the year Abu Dhabi hotel rates are among the "most competitive", during the Grand Prix, they shoot up to second spot, according to an update from Core Savills.
TThese are based on rates across the seven hotels within a 5-kilometre radius of the track. In comparison, Singapore has 186 hotels within such a vicinity, while Monaco has 59.
But the spike all through the race days hasn't impacted on the occupancy levels at Abu Dhabi hotels. "Average occupancy and RevPAR (revenue per available room) also surge throughout the month," Core reports. "This may also be attributed to the fact that Abu Dhabi's tourism calendar is yet to be fully diversified with other prominent events.
"However, the city is now broadening its cultural and tourism offerings to sustain demand throughout the year, as evidenced by the developing Cultural District on Saadiyat Island and the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi."
Abu Dhabi's hospitality sector has been holding up well despite the overhang of a weak economy through the last three years. According to Mastercard data, Abu Dhabi was the "fastest-growing destination city for tourists in the Middle East and Africa during 2017".
Plus, the opening of the Louvre is "likely to have given the capital's ranking the strongest boost by improving its attractiveness as a cultural destination", Abu Dhabi is also ranked third globally in terms of the growth of international overnight visitors it receives. Dubai remains fourth overall in the world in terms of total overnight visitors.
The race isn't the only attraction the location – Yas Island – will be hosting. In the coming weeks, residents will start moving into their new homes, part of the initial communities the master-developer, Aldar Properties, is handing over. Plus, there are the Yas Mall and the Ferrari theme park for good measure.
"Abu Dhabi's Grand Prix poses a number of interesting potential drivers for real estate in the surrounding districts," the Core report notes. "Other large entertainment and leisure facilities located in the area… all work towards creating momentum in the area.
"This, in turn, is likely to strengthen the attractiveness of real estate in the surrounding areas by creating a sense of vibrancy and prestige, indicating the potential for government planning to create further value and generate greater demand."