Trackside in Abu Dhabi

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

The new Yas Marina circuit, purpose-built for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is a stunning place.

The 5.5km track also includes the iconic five-star Yas Marina Hotel (pictured below at both day and night) which straddles part of the circuit, and a 60-metre solar-power Sun Tower.

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The Moodie Report attended the big race today, along with many executives from the travel retail industry. It was a spectacular affair, which began in bright Arabian sunshine at 5p.m. and ended under a full moon with a one-two triumph for the Red Bull team of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Guests in the Diageo Global Travel & Middle East (GTME) suite had the chance to drive a simulator version of the McLaren Mercedes car used by Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen. Two lesser-known racing aces (below) tried their luck, one from a certain Middle East retail company and the other synonymous with this Blog. Both managed the hitherto impossible feat of making the car go backwards.

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A large DFS contingent was present including Chairman Ed Brennan,a keen motor-racing buff and his lovely wife Debbie (below).

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Dufry’s man in Sharjah, Eric van der Veen (below) was looking relaxed, not surprisinglygiven that he was in the company of his wife to be, Nadine Blackwood.

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It was a great day at a great circuit. Make no mistake, Abu Dhabi has truly arrived on the Formula 1 circuit. It is the world that will now be playing catch-up.

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