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Etihad Airways to sponsor Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 18 Dec 2007

(Left to right) Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), Formula One Group CEO, and James Hogan, Etihad Airways chief executive, sign the deal for the FORMULA 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Formula One Group headquarters in London. Formula One Group Headquarters, London, England, December 2007. © Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has signed a three-year deal to become the title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will start with the inaugural race in 2009. The event will be officially known as the FORMULA 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“To have secured the title sponsorship for the inaugural FORMULA 1™ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and beyond is a tremendous honour for Etihad Airways and will enable the airline to increase its reach to a global audience,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive.

“The ‘2009 FORMULA 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’ will be an historic occasion for the UAE’s capital and Etihad looks forward to welcoming thousands of F1 spectators from across the world to Abu Dhabi.”

Welcoming the Etihad Airways announcement, Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone said: “Securing a title sponsor of this calibre two years out from the first event is further reinforcement that the region is full of excitement and anticipation for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

The race will take place on a new 5.6-kilometre circuit currently being built on Yas Island, a natural 2,550 hectare island situated on the east coast of Abu Dhabi. The track, designed by Hermann Tilke, will be one of the longest and most demanding circuits in the world.