We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 27 Aug 2008 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Incentives formula

Meetings are not always about hotels as Bahrain International Circuit aims to prove with its combination of facilities, team events and incentives.

Meetings are not always about hotels as Bahrain International Circuit aims to prove with its combination of facilities, team events and incentives.

Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) may be synonymous with Formula One racing, but there is more to the venue than tyres and tarmac.

Boasting numerous multi-purpose buildings and the option to partake in motor-related incentive or team-building activities, BIC is a unique venue with plenty to offer, according to commercial director BIC, Steven Umfreville.

"We've been operating since 2004, but it was in 2005 that we started targeting the meetings and incentive market," he said.

"The reasoning being we were in a unique venue and had a whole range of multi-purpose buildings that could be utilised for all different types of activities and we found it was a great backdrop for doing business."

The venue has already played host to more than 500 events this year and the focus on the meetings industry has paid dividends, according to Umfreville.

"About 50% of our business is from Bahrain, 35% is regional and then the rest is international.

"Internationally, business is growing on a regular basis - it's becoming more of a destination for companies from Europe," Umfreville explained.But Umfreville pointed out that BIC would not rest on its laurels and was already looking at ways to keep the product fresh.

"We're developing for next year and this includes enhancing our corporate driving packages. We now know after two years what the market wants and we have to reinvent the wheel and put new things into the product mix - for instance, you need new vehicles for people to drive," he said.

A number of companies have used the facilities for team-building days, an area that Umfreville said BIC was looking to develop.

"We get a lot of people who want to use the facilities for a team-building event that is motor sport related. Next year we will have a brand new kart circuit - a first for the region, a high-tech, high-end international kart circuit."

The proposed development of the new Bahrain convention centre will only add to the BIC's offering, according to Umfreville.

"We allocated a plot of land for the development of the Bahrain Conference Centre. It's such a good move and the synergy will be fantastic - people coming to the conference centre with all these activities on their doorstep.

"And when we have international events people can use the conference centre and hotels so it's a perfect mix," he concluded.

Paddock Club

Sat above the Formula One pit lane, the mixed-use building comprises six linked lounges.Aimed at catering to exhibitions, gala-dinners and large meetings, each lounge is equipped with its own kitchen.

Additional advantages include views of the start/finish line and monitors for close-up action when races are being held.

Al-SakhirTower

The Bahrain Circuit's tower has become something of an icon for the country. Catering to corporate, private, social and cultural events, each floor of the tower contains hospitality lounges.

The lounges have a 360 degree view of the circuit and guests can gain views of the surrounding area from the circular balconies. When the Formula One race is on, it is possible to see 90% of the course.

Facilities include restrooms, televisions, telephones and internet access, while each floor can be portioned into four separate areas if required.

Oasis Complex

The complex is a stand-alone group of 12 hospitality lounges that can be used for meetings, conferences and product launches. Overlooking the drag strip, the support race pit lane and more than 60% of the Grand Prix circuit, the complex also boasts catering by German company Käfer.

Corporate lounges

Located above the shaded Main Grandstand the 34 luxury lounges offer views from the suites or balconies.Aimed at providing high-end comfort, the suites are equipped with couches, built-in beverage areas and bathrooms.

Serviced by Käfer, the suites allow guests an undisturbed view of the start/finish line.

Driving incentives

BIC has developed a range of corporate incentive and team-building driving activities. Guests begin with breakfast in one of the suites or lounges and are then briefed on the on-track and off-road sessions before they get behind the wheel to test out the circuit for themselves. The day ends with lunch back at the VIP lounge.

On-track:

• Drive a Formula BMW FB2 single seater

• Test your nerve in the Skid Car

• Drive the lightweight Caterhams

• Passenger ride in V8 Lumina with a top speed of 268kph

Off-road:

• Adventure Drive Arabia is a 4x4 course with 30 obstacles that can also be attempted at night

• Head-to-head racing with Apaches

• Quad biking

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.