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Sun 23 Sep 2007 04:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi F1 plan to build ‘world’s most unique track’

The developer behind Abu Dhabi's new F1 racetrack has pledged to deliver "the world's most unique track" upon its completion in 2008.

The developer behind Abu Dhabi's new F1 racetrack has pledged to deliver "the world's most unique track" upon its completion in 2008.

The emirate hopes that the annual race will attract three million people by 2015, and so far, 33% of the work on the Yas Island Circuit, which will host the Formula One Grand Prix from 2009, has been completed on schedule.

The project is part of the US$40bn Yas Island development, which will convert 2500 hectares of the island into a leisure and entertainment tourism destination. Officials declined to disclose how much money has been allocated for developing the track. Aldar officials said they aimed to develop a world-class track and related infrastructure.

"Access to this track is the best compared to any other circuit on the calendar today," said Ronald Barrott, CEO of Aldar told Arabian Business. "If you look at any track that's been built, it's been a new track on its own," he continued.

"This is a track that's been built inside the urban area - It is partly street circuit, partly motor racing circuit," Barrott added. "We're building within the track residential properties, mixed developments, and commercial space, so this track is going to run through urban streets."

In terms of safety measures, Barrott gave assurances that the highest levels of safety would be implemented to safeguard both drivers and spectators at the race.

"We've looked at all the tracks and adopted the latest technology from around the world. That's proven technology and that's important because we know it's going to work. When it comes to this race you don't want to take any risks at all. It's a safety issue and these are people's lives.

"Things are evolving all the time and we will make sure that right up to the last minute the race takes place we incorporate the best practice in terms of safety and design of the track," he added.

Where design is concerned, the general audience will have an approximate 30-40% view of the track, "if not greater," according to Barrott.

"The general spectator, the real enthusiast, will get a very good view of the track, more of this track than any other track in the world from one position," he continued.

Aldar officials said the island will also feature the first Ferrari theme park in the world - one of many new projects associated with the event.

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