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Sun 16 Mar 2008 04:18 PM

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Mubadala extends Ferrari sponsorship

Extension runs through 2010, giving Abu Dhabi investment vehicle more prominent branding.

Abu Dhabi-owned investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company has agreed a one-year extension to its sponsorship of Ferrari's Formula One team, the company said on Sunday.

Mubadala said the original three-year deal had been extended through 2010 to cover Abu Dhabi's first two F1 Grand Prix.

The emirate's debut F1 race will be held in January 2009 on Yas Island, which will also feature a Ferrari theme park.

Mubadala, which bought a 5% stake in Ferrari in 2005, said the new deal would give it much more prominent branding positioning.

From 2008-2010 Mubadala branding will appear on the nose cone of Ferrari's race cars, at the car maker's test track in Italy and on the drivers' caps, the company said.

"The extension to this agreement underlines Mubadala's ongoing strategy to form partnerships with world-class businesses," Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chief operating officer (COO) at Mubadala, said in a statement.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Mubadala's announcement comes just days after Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said it had signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Ferrari F1 team, complementing existing partnerships with Chelsea Football Club, Harlequins Rugby Football Club and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Gulf companies are more and more turning to sport sponsorship as a way of raising their international profile.

Arguably the most high-profile Gulf company, Dubai airline Emirates, has numerous sponsorship deals with sports teams and events, including Arsenal Football Club, the IRB World Sevens Series, the International Cricket Counsel and horse racing's Melbourne Cup Carnival.

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