Abu Dhabi’s best F1 after parties

VIPs, celebs and the biggest names in music. Here’s where you need to be this weekend


After a blistering season, the new F1 champion will be crowned at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so there’s a lot to celebrate. Which is handy, as there’s a lot of places to party over the weekend. As the outcome of the F1 calendar hinges on the final race, people from all over the world are flocking to Abu Dhabi for the conclusion so after parties may be hard to get into if you haven’t pre-booked. Here’s how you can make the most of the sporting weekend after the winner has taken the chequered flag.

Amber Lounge

For those into their R&B, UK artist Jay Sean will be performing, not once but twice over the F1 weekend. He’s the first Asian artist to have a Billboard number one and has sold over 18 million songs. He’ll be headlining two after-parties, which will be filled with VIPs and celebs. Since the venue opened in 2013 Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and David Beckham have been spotted there for the after-race activities. Those looking to enjoy the complete Amber Lounge Experience can watch the racing trackside from the Amber Lounge Celebrity Yacht too. It’s here there’s a meet and greet with the F1 drivers, live DJ sets, gourmet buffets and unlimited drinks are signature elements on board the party boat.

Best for: The whole VIP experience
How to get in: Enquire ahead for tailored packages
Where: Yas Links Golf Club
Contact: +377 97 77 16 34
Tickets: From AED 3030 to AED 86,695

Podium Lounge Trackside after party

Now in its fourth year, this after party is traditionally a celeb haunt so make sure you’re dressed for the red carpet. The venue is directly above the track so it’s great for race fans to get that perfect F1 Instagram snap. Stars of the racing community will be in attendance so this is very much the place-to-be for die-hard motor racing fans. The resident DJs will be blasting the tunes (because what’s a party without music, right?). Music varies from night-to-night but it’s basically dance on Friday, glamour and style Saturday and hip-hop Sunday, so there’s something for everyone.

Best for: Celeb spotting
How to get in: Book tickets in advance, gents
Where: RUSH at Viceroy
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Contact: +971 5 673 79905
Tickets: Ladies free, gents AED 200

Incredible Sin Grand Prix Party and Brunch

Kick off the weekend in style with this DJ-filled line-up. Brandon Block and Alex P are among the big names revving up the F1 weekend. Your ticket gets you entrance to the midday brunch, with it’s own line up of DJs, including the one and only Dane Bowers. Plus, entry to the F1 qualifiers, where the Chemical Brothers will be rocking the stage, then you’re off to the after-after party on Yas Island for the legendary Mr. Block on the decks. Get plenty of sleep the night before because you won’t be getting any here! One ticket gets you access to the qualifying and three parties.

Best for: A long day’s partying!
Where: RUSH at Viceroy
When: Friday 25 November 12pm – 3am
Contact: +971 56 895 7531
Ticket price: AED1,000 for ladies / AED1,200 for gents.

The official Formula One after party

THIS is the place to be this weekend for music fans with none other than Drake headlining the official F1 bash. In association with Cipriani VIP Room, Yas Island, the Canadian artist is performing twice over the action-packing weekend, although the Saturday gig is expected to be the one that’s really going off in style. Drake performed to a sell-out crowd in the region last year and he will be the hottest ticket in town this weekend. Friends will join him on the Sunday, with Paris Hilton among the names set to appear. This is one after party you won’t want to miss from 11pm – 3am.

Best for: Music lovers
How to get in: Grand Prix ticket holders only
Where: 3rd floor Yas Marina Building 1
When: Saturday after qualifying
Contact: 052 881 8888
Ticket price: from AED 695 to AED 4,685

Yasalam concert series – Pitbull

He’s the most recent addition to the Yasalam gigs and will be performing before the night before the race warm-ups. Previously, this spot was filled with Arabic language performers but this year it’ll be the American tasked with drawing in the crowds. The ‘Timber’ singer adds the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix venue to his glittering music career, which has also seen his tune ‘We Are One’ be named the official song of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. While there are no footballs being booted around this weekend, but his highly commercial hits are sure to keep fans entertained. So what are you waiting for? Grab somebody sexy and tell them “hey!”

Best for: Eager beavers
How to get in: Only those with 3-day tickets can see Pitbull!
Where: Du Arena, Yas Marina
When: Thursday 24th
Contact: +971 (0) 2 659 9800
Tickets: From AED 525

Yasalam concert series - Chemical Brothers

These guys have been around since the late eighties but have managed to remain in the charts, most recently with their latest album Born in the Echoes, which was released last year and went straight to the top of the charts. They’re no strangers to the big stage having toured sell-out areas around the world as well as playing Glastonbury in the UK. With big-stars following the Chemical Brothers on Friday and Saturday, the pressure’s on to produce a memorable set. Shouldn’t be a problem for the guys, who have four Grammy awards, a Brit Award and MTV Europe Music Award under their belts.

Best for: An 80s throwback
How to get in: Grandstand ticket holders can see the concert
Where: Du Arena, Yas Marina
When: Friday 25th
Contact: +971 (0) 2 659 9800
Tickets: From AED 525

Yasalam concert series - Lionel Richie

Who doesn’t like a bit of Lionel? The legendary RnB star will have the crowds dancing on the ceiling on the Saturday night. It’s the first time since 2014 Mr Richie has performed in the UAE, having previous wowed crowds in Dubai. The All Night Long icon has seen somewhat of a career resurgence in recent years, which has included playing to 120,000 people at Glastonbury in the UK. Plus, if you’re a fan of local music, get to the gig in time to see upcoming Dubai-based band Vandalye, who were handpicked by Mr. Richie to be his warm up act.

Best for: Dancing all night long
How to get in: Grandstand ticket holders can see the concert
Where: Du Arena, Yas Marina
When: Saturday 26th
Contact: +971 (0) 2 659 9800
Tickets: From AED 525

Yasalam concert series – Rihanna

Yes the Barbadian songstress will be ‘working’ the stage (see what we did there?) on the final day of the fuel-filled weekend. She’ll be performing as part of her ‘Anti World Tour’. With 59 million albums sold worldwide, her back catalogue of hits is sure to keep the crowds going on the final day. Traditionally, the final day Yasalam after race concert is the place to be seen, this year race-goes have the choice between this or Drake. It’s not every day the pair are in town so we’ve got our fingers crossed for a special collaboration!

Best for: Hitting the dance floor
How to get in: Grandstand ticket grants access
Where: Du Arena, Yas Marina
When: Sunday 27th
Contact: +971 (0) 2 659 9800
Tickets: From AED 525

Beats on the Beach

Sean Paul is the headline act for this festival within a festival. The actual event itself is free to get in but you need a pass to gain entry into the venue itself. The Jamaican will be playing on the Saturday with lesser-known acts headlining on Friday and Nancy Ajram will close the weekend on Sunday and will be joined by the Dubai-based rockers, Bull Funk Zoo. But it’s Mr. Paul we’re most pumped about – he’s enjoyed a great 2016 with hits such as ‘Cheap Thrills’ with Sia as well as the Jay Sean collaboration, ‘Make My Love Go.’

Best for: Saving money
How to get in: The event is non-ticket but you need a day pass for entry
Where: DU Arena, Yas Island
When: Saturday
Contact: +971 (0) 2 659 9800
Ticket price: AED 525

MAD on Yas Island

As if one dose of Sean Paul wasn’t enough for a weekend, he’s back performing again at MAD! The venue has partnered with event organisers, Flash, to bring music fans an extra treat over the three days. Sean Paul will be joined by Rita Ora, Future, T-Pain and Travis Scott. T-Pain will perform on Thursday 24, Sean Paul and Rita Ora on Friday, Travis Scott on Saturday and Future on Sunday. What could be better than that we hear you ask? How about free entry for ladies! Lads, you’ve got to pay, but it’s cheaper than most parties and you get two drinks included too.

Best for: Value
How to get in: Tickets on the door
Where: MAD, YAS island
When: Thursday - Sunday
Contact: 055-8346262
Ticket price: AED 300 for gents, ladies free.

Abu Dhabi Race Weekend Yacht Experience

If you want to be part of the race weekend then get involved with the Iconix group event. Iconix are holding their famous annual boat party over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can get on board and enjoy a day and night that includes access to the marina, the yacht party with canapés and drinks, along with access to the concerts and track side view of the race. Joining the ship to steer those party beats is none other than Mr Dubai – Mike Bufton and his Audiotonic outfit - Middle East’s longest standing weekly electronic dance music concept.

Best for: A party boat
How to get in: Enquire beforehand
Where: YAS island
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12pm – 12am
Contact: 0526397800
Ticket price: Please enquire