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Sun 7 Aug 2011 12:21 PM

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Etihad eyes AED50k for luxury Grand Prix deals

Five-star hospitality packages for Abu Dhabi race target region’s super-wealthy

Etihad eyes AED50k for luxury Grand Prix deals
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel pictured after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2010

Luxury packages for Abu Dhabi’s Grand Prix race featuring
four nights accommodation at some of the UAE’s priciest hotels, are selling for
upwards of AED43,995 (about $11,978).

The hospitality packages from Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways target
the wealthiest end of the travel market, and include a three-day Paddock Club
ticket, a two-day pass to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, access to a post-race Amber
Lounge Party and four nights at a five-star hotel.

Flights are not included in the price tag.

Hospitality analyst Guy Wilkinson
at Dubai-based Viability
Management Consultants said he expected interest to be high among the
region’s super-wealthy, despite the current economic climate.

“There are many fans of cars and racing in the GCC,” he
said. “We know that the higher paying guests are better able to continue
travelling in a recession than the budget or mid-market segments.”

Merill Lynch said in June the Middle East's had seen a 10.4 percent swell in the ranks of its dollar millionaires in 2010, with the region's super-rich now sitting on a cash pile of $1.7 trillion.

Prices for the four-night package at the Abu Dhabi-based Yas
Hotel will set Formula One fans back AED43,995 while the same deal with four
nights at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab costs from AED49,995.

Abu Dhabi's tourism arm last week said the capital
recorded its best hotel results in the first half of 2011, with more than one
million guests staying in the Abu Dhabi in the six-month period.

The number of hotel guests in the emirate was up 11 percent
in H1 year-on-year, and length of stay rose 13 percent to 2.97 nights, Abu
Dhabi Tourism Authority said.

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