Visiting the race is a mix of two very contrasting experiences. On the one hand, there is Bahrain’s bustling capital Manama, situated in the north east corner of the island. The name translates literally to mean ‘sleeping place’, but don’t be misled: it’s a hub of bright lights, bars and exotic souqs.

    On the other hand, there’s the Sakhir Circuit. The track is first-rate, with some of the best facilities in the world, but it’s situated in the middle of the desert. As the wind picks up each evening and the early sunset takes hold, the place has a magical ‘Arabian Nights’ feel to it.

    Did you know?

    Bahrain was the location of the first ever oil well in the Gulf.

    Where to go?

    The place to go out is Manama, a very happening city and one that is growing rapidly. There is something for everyone: authentic Bahraini cuisine, clubs and souqs, as well as western-style discos and shopping malls.

    The beautiful Al-Faith Mosque is a ‘must-see’ in Manama and, if you fancy a drive to the south of the island, go in search of the Tree of Life. It’s a lone tree in the middle of the desert that is kept alive by an underwater spring.