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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix most popular sporting event in UAE – survey

Three-quarters of residents say being a host nation makes them proud

Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been named the most familiar among the world sport events hosted by the UAE in a YouGov survey.

The majority of the respondents in the survey backed the Arab country’s efforts to attract popular sporting events to the country.

One in three interviewed online believe being a host nation of major sporting events makes them proud to live there, while 83 per cent agree hosting them is a good way for the nation to promote itself globally and 78 per cent believe hosting such events has a positive impact on the community.

“The results from YouGov’s study show that major sporting events are engaging and exciting the general population across the UAE who believe play an important role in the morale of their country and its recognition on a world stage,” says Scott Booth, YouGov’s head of tourism and leisure research in MENA.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which has been held at Yas Marina Circuit since 2009, is also the event with the highest level of attendance among UAE respondents, with 18 per cent of those aware of the event having attended a race.

This year’s racing event will take place from November 27 to 29.

The survey has also found out that more than half of the attendees had recommended the event to their friends.

Other sporting events familiar to the UAE residents were the Dubai World Cup and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, with 49 per cent attendees recommending Dubai World Cup to their fellow fans.

“The 2015-2016 sporting season is in full swing, with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens all taking place in quick succession,” adds Booth.