Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2015: Operator Tips for Travel to the Event

PT 3 M minute read
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2015: Operator Tips for Travel to the Event

The Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix takes place November 27-29 at the Yas Island Marina Circuit, about 30 minutes from the city center. If you’re a business aircraft operator heading to Abu Dhabi to attend the Grand Prix it’s best to organize aircraft parking, hotel accommodations and general trip planning as soon as schedule is known.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Primary airport

Abu Dhabi Intl (OMAA) is the primary airport for this event. It’s a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with full handing services, fuel, and credit available. Prior Permission Required (PPR) is not needed for this location, and airport slots are not required if arrangements are made via your ground handler. We do not anticipate general aviation (GA) parking availability to be an issue at OMAA during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix period.

2. Alternate airports

Parking alternates to consider for this event include Bateen (OMAD), Al Ain (OMAL) and Al Maktoum (OMDW). All of these locations are 24-hour AOEs with full handling/support services, fuel, and customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) availability 24/7.

3. UAE landing permit requirements

Landing permits are required for GA operations to Abu Dhabi and other airports within the UAE. Official permit lead time, for both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial), is four business days. Note that shorter notice permits are usually possible to obtain at the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA’s) discretion. Abu Dhabi permits are processed by CAA during normal business hours.

4. Documentation and visa requirements

When requesting landing permits for Abu Dhabi you’ll need to provide airworthiness and registration certificates along with worldwide insurance. Passports must have remaining validity of at least three months from the date of entry for stays of up to three months, and six months from date of entry for visits exceeding three months. Visas are required only for certain nationalities of passengers and/or for longer duration stays. For example, U.S. citizens do not require visas for stays of less than 30 days. Be aware, however, that any passenger or crew member with a valid or expired Israeli stamp in their passport will not be permitted to enter Abu Dhabi. While crew members from certain countries must obtain visas prior to arrival, most crew arriving on private aircraft, and listed on the gen dec, may stay in Abu Dhabi for up to seven days without visas. For crew to enter without visas they must be in uniform and have valid crew IDs with expiration dates noted. Should crew members wish to stay more than seven days without visas a valid and verifiable reason must be provided, such as an aircraft maintenance issue. Any crew members operating outside of these circumstances may be fined for each additional day they remain in Abu Dhabi and may be questioned by immigration authorities. When overstay fines are assessed they must be paid in cash.

5. CIQ clearance

The primary ground handler at OMAA is available 24/7 and has dedicated VIP lounges for passengers. However, both crew and passengers clear CIQ in the main VIP facility.

6. Security considerations

Airport security is excellent at OMAA and throughout the UAE with adequate perimeter fencing, 24-hour patrols, CCTV surveillance, and strictly enforced airside access controls. OMAA airport employees are required to wear badges and uniforms, and private vehicle access to the ramp is via a security checkpoint. Security screening procedures are in place for passengers, crew, and baggage. If you wish to put a guard on your aircraft, this can only be arranged via the airport authority. No companies or organizations outside of the airport authority are permitted to provide airside or aircraft security services.

7. Hotel and local transport

Preferred hotel accommodations will sell out quickly for this popular Formula One event, so it’s important to secure crew accommodations as soon as the schedule is known. Room prices, particularly for those hotels close to the Yas Marina Circuit, will be higher than normal over this period. For transportation needs we recommend prepaid transport (car with driver) to move within Abu Dhabi. Your ground handler can recommend vetted transport providers and make all arrangements.

8. Fuel and additional services

Full aircraft support services can be coordinated at OMAA and alternate airports via your ground handler. It’s best to provide at least 24 hours’ notice for in-flight catering requests, with 48 hours’ notice for more specific and particular catering orders. Operators may wish to consider fuel uplift on arrival, or the day prior to departure, to avoid operational delays for departure on the last day of the event.


If you’re planning to attend the 2015 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix your options will be improved by beginning the trip planning process as soon as possible. Aircraft parking requests should be submitted as soon as schedule is known, and both crew accommodations and in-flight catering requests are best considered and coordinated without delay.

Universal and Universal Aviation are not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Abu Dhabi, contact me at michaelmcdaniel@univ-wea.com.

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