RIYADH: Hundreds of foreign visitors from more than 50 countries are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia for the ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix next month on tourist visas being issued for the event.
The Formula E debuts in the Middle East from December 13 to 15 and tickets are on sale for the race from SR395. This is the first time Saudi Arabia is issuing tourist visas for an event outside the realm of religious tourism.
Visas can be obtained through the “Sharek” visa portal, a move expected to bring about a significant change to the tourism and hospitality landscape in the country. Visa applicants must buy E-prix tickets to secure a visa, which is extendable for 30 days beyond the conclusion of the Formula E weekend festivities.
The event will be covered live by the BBC for its audiences in the United Kingdom. It will highlight one of Saudi Arabia’s prominent heritage sites, Ad Diriyah, on which the BBC will train its cameras. During the race, the Unesco site will come alive with cultural and entertainment activities, including live musical performances by international artists.
Various categories of tickets are meant to suit every pocket, the cheapest being only SR395. Tickets are available on www.ad-diriyah-eprix.com. Fans can watch all the action from the grandstands. They will also have access to the E-Village and another entertainment area, in addition to a post-race concert. From a single-day ticket to hospitality packages across the three-day festival, there are offers for all.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Vice-Chair of the General Sports Authority (GSA), said: “This epic sporting spectacle will showcase Saudi Arabia to the world and we are excited for a line-up both on the track, onstage and amongst a breathtaking historical setting.”
Fans in Jeddah can buy tickets and get a preview of the race at the upcoming “Road to Ad Diriyah” event on the corniche from November 22 to 24. With racing simulators, an outdoor cinema, watt bikes, VR attractions and a second-generation Formula E car on show, the show promises to entertain everyone. For gamers, the “ABB FIA Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah” eSports tournament will conduct a qualifying heat. Two winners from Jeddah will join other from Khobar, Riyadh and online for a chance to compete at final race at Ad Diriyah. Prizes worth SR1 million are on offer.
The ‘Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix’ is the first in a 10-year partnership between ABB FIA Formula E and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA) and the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation.