abu dhabi | abu dhabi grand prix
Circuit Experience: 9
City Action: 8.5
X Factor: 8.5
Total | 26
Editor’s Pick: Best for Outdoor Vibes
CIRCUIT EXPERIENCE: 9
The Yas Marina Circuit — in fact, the entire Yas Island! — was built specifically for the Grand Prix, and from what we can see, no expense has been spared. While it’s arguable that everything about this venue is first-class, it’s the glorious golden-hour start time and massive nightly parties around the circuit that earn Abu Dhabi major points. But would you expect anything else from the final race weekend of the season? The 2018 lineup did not disappoint: Post Malone, The Weeknd, Sam Smith, and Guns N’ Roses.
CITY ACTION: 8.5
An island famed for leisure and luxury hotels, Yas is even home to a Ferrari theme park. The marina boasts the circuit’s best views (there’s no beating a superyacht), and it bustles by night with pop-up clubs and avant-garde culinary offerings. The citywide Yasalam Festival, launched to stoke the race weekend experience, showcases top entertainers in the seven weeks leading up to the Grand Prix. Free events like car shows, carnivals, and pit stop challenges pop up across town. We wish there were cheaper hotel options, but think the price is right for the quality of race.
X Factor: 8.5
The vacation vibes. It’s hard to beat a beachside sunset during the race; the moment seems to carry even more weight as Abu Dhabi is the metaphorical sunset of the season. This perfectly sets the mood for a spectacular finale fireworks display. Plus, this is the race that often decides the championship. As the host of the season finale, Abu Dhabi could be viewed as the most important Grand Prix of the year, and it has given fans a few unforgettable thrillers. Not only can you bathe in the warm waters of the sea, you may very well witness a moment of F1 history.