Saturday, 12 November 2011

Abu Dhabi- Yas Marina Circuit

The Yas Marina becomes the Yes Marina!..
It's an incredible circuit, only in it's 3rd year, but already so well established and organised.
The stands are imposing but not ugly, there are laced with decorative arabic this attention to detail, also there are so many volunteers wearing t-shirts saying Can I Help You.
Even shuttle buses to take you 50 yards if you so disire!
One thing I have noticed here...nobody likes to walk!..never seen so many 4x4 cars.
From the minute I arrived on Wednesday evening there has been so much do and see....some races I seem to have more time..
The Hotel -Radisson Blu is a stones throw away..lovely little walk to the track, which I know well.
This is were the Journey started, I was commissioned by Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management to
make 10 paintings to commemorate the opening of the Circuit in 2009
Made many trips here....really enjoy coming back here.
Went staight to the Mangement offices to meet the CEO Richard Cregan to arrange a time for him to write his piece, which he did next to the paintings of mine outside his office...good to see the work again.....nothing has fallen off!...
Also set the ball rolling to get the Chairman of the Circuit , Khaldoon Al Mubarak, and Chairman of Executive affairs, also Chairman of Man City!..richest football club in the world.
Fortunately I saw him just climbing into a golf buggy..and introduced myself..I'd met him before, he knows my work...I explained the project briefly...he said he would be delighted to write.
He gave me his email, which goes directly to his assistant...It's sat lunchtime..I'm hoping  to see Khaldoon soon....too many O's!
The paddock is so attractive here.. beautiful Team Hospitalities with the Marina behind full of big meaty power boats... although not too many elegant Sailing boats...all infront of the impressive Yas Hotel...a section of the track passes through the hotel...imagine waking up late ...pulling the cirtains back and seeing Hamilton whizzing pass your window!
I felt I had so much to photograph yesterday at the track..didn't want to miss any great shots...this was beore going into Abu Dhabi to take pics.
A journalist and PR  friend Agnes  had put me in touch with a chief reporter for Gulf news. A daily paper. he was keen to do an interview for the paper.
It came out this morning.,. very pleased!
I went to the amazing Sheikh Zayed in abundance....just takes my breath away!...
The Floral marble decorations and Iznik turkish designs are stunning...inside huge jewel laden , multi-coloured Chandaliers, and the  biggest hand woven carpet in the world.
Stayed there for a while, then taxi back to track for lunch...walked all over the circuit grounds..really good fans area..lots of events...including this 10 foot robot that fires water through its eyes.
In the eve we went to Ferrari world...huge themed amusement area under one roof..with the worlds fastest roller coaster....not been on it yet! many differet rides...strangely quiet for the race week.
Full day!...Woke up early , caught a taxi into the City about 20 mins taxis here...state controlled.
I already have many pics taken from my previous commission, but even with the space of one year, so many tall buildings have shot up!..amazing to see.
Very hot day..compared to mid summer it's positively mild for the Emiraties!  28 degrees.
The Ceo wrote a great piece...very happy about about that...and he is loking forward to the box set of prints from the paintings..already has a space reserved for them.
The teams and managent are so delighted with the hospitality and sevices here.. there is still a great buzz even thought the championship has been won.  The practice sessions were great, especially the secong practice starting at five here, when the race starts on sunday.
The sun just starts to can't fail to take a decent spectacular picture..infact I was darting all over desperate to take more pics with the backdrop of the sun setting behind the Yas hotel with the cars on the see this is when my little camera can be heavy equipment on my shoulders.

A great day at the circuit ...finished late around 8 then went to the hotel..cold wine..Britney Spears was playing at the track...not my cup of Arabic tea!...After the concert I did go the The Amber lounge, an exclusive F1 club/ party set up by Edie Irvine's sister, Sonja. Very popular and people pay thousands for a table there!....expensive disco!!
...given free tickets...champagne until 2 in morning. Sophie Ellis Baxter was performing under the big tent.....I used to fancy her mother!!..told the girls we were with..... all twenty something..had no idea who her mother was....
Back to the track now...

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