MENAFN - Khaleej Times
UAE- Gear up for a bigger, better Yasalam fest
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The fifth edition of Yasalam, the city-wide entertainment programme in the run-up to the Formula One race, promises to be bigger and better, including longer live event days.
This year, residents and visitors will be treated to top quality concerts by music legends - both international and regional - at concert venues on Yas Island and the corniche.
Across town, several activities and community programmes for a full 50 days, set at different locations, are sure to immerse everyone into the energy of motor sport.
"The fifth year of Yasalam Festival will have bigger and broader entertainment programmes than what we had in the previous years," said Flash Entertainment's vice-president of Marketing and Communications Mike Fairburn - organiser of the event.
Healthy living is central to this year's festival, so initiating Yasalam on September 15 at Al Forsan is the first-ever 'Get Driver Fit' challenge by Daman. The eight-week programme, which includes free fitness classes, seeks to get the community educated, active and engaged.
Getting Abu Dhabi active
Get fit, get moving and have fun. This is the overarching message that the National Health Insurance Company, Daman, wants to impart to Yasalam revellers this year.
For the first time in Yasalam festival's history, healthy living will become one of the focal points with Daman's Activelife 'Get Driver Fit' initiative which was launched on Wednesday during the Yasalam 2013 roundtable.
"This is a big addition that is really significant to driver's health and fitness through fun-engaging activities. (This won't be) about preaching people... it's about getting them moving," said Mike Fairburn, vice-president of Marketing and Communications at Flash Entertainment.
The eight-week programme will include free fitness classes including yoga, pilates and Zumba to be held at Abu Dhabi Corniche and Yas Marina Circuit. Each class is being offered to both men and women.
Introductory classes to a variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, archery, paintball, laser tag, tennis, table tennis, badminton, kayak, sailing, windsurfing, beach volleyball, basketball, frisbee, golf, running and cycling are also on offer, free-of-charge.
However, interested participants must sign-up for the classes in advance online at: yasalam.duplays.com/getdrivefit.
Dr Sven Rohte, chief commercial officer at Daman, said 'Get Drive Fit' is more than just a call for action. It's providing the platform for people to actually engage in activities that would encourage them to be active in a fun way.
"It's built around the main event, connection by association... like the (F1) driver who needs to be physically and mentally fit. It's a very good activation," he told Khaleej Times.
"I hope that we can marry this with some more engagement with HR and with the companies. A physically and mentally fit employee means less sick leaves and higher productivity," Dr Rohte pointed out.
As part of the drive, selected private and public schools, as well as universities, will be engaged in driver fitness course lectures and activity-based learning. In addition, each school will put forth a team of representatives to submit their best 'Get Driver Fit' presentation to get Abu Dhabi active. All students will receive a certificate for completing the course.
'Get Drive Fit' will kick off on September 15 at Al Forsan with surprise activities, and will run till November 3. -email@example.com
'Beats on the Beach' will now run for three nights (October 31"November 2) with the newly-added third night showcasing Filipino superstars Mr Pure Energy Gary Valenciano and Philippines' ultimate performer Vina Morales.
Other musical entertainers include American pop starlet Ciara, Lebanese star Assi El Hellani, UAE multi-instrumentalist Shamma Hamdan, Arab Idol winner Mohammed Asaf and runner-up Salma Rachid. Local rockers Jay Wud, Beat Antenna, Chronicles of Khan and Bull Funk Zoo are sure to keep the crowd entertained. More international artistes will be announced in the coming weeks, according to Fairburn.
The F1 Fan Zone (October 24"November 3) at the corniche is also expanded with more race-themed activities and with a plan to bring in more than one F1 driver for the autograph session.
The Car Parade (October 25), another new addition at Yasalam this year, is expected to bring together all car enthusiasts to participate in a 10-km parade from Yas Island to the corniche then back. The parade will be joined by a children's parade with the Abu Dhabi Police band leading the procession.
"Cars will be dressed with the UAE colours in the build-up to the national day," said Fairburn.
At the brand new Yas Marina Village on Yas Island, celebrations will be under way from October 24"25 with performers, musicians and children's activities that promise fun-filled days for the entire family.
The After-Race Concerts boast a line-up of some of the biggest names in the industry and will feature Arabic acts for the first time. Egyptian pop star Amr Diab, X Factor Arabia judge Hussain Al Jassmi and Lebanese artiste Elissa will headline the first day (October 31).
They will be followed by 17-time Grammy Award winner Jay Z on November 1 and multi-platinum selling group Muse on November 2. Pioneers of the post-punk era and one of modern music's most influential groups, Depeche Mode, will close the concert on the championship day on November 3.
Adding to the thrill of Yasalam for race ticket-holders is the new and improved Y1 Access benefits programme. Race ticket-holders will receive a pair of complimentary invitations to the Thursday After-Race Concert and the first 15,000 UAE-based customers will receive two invitations to the Friday night concert. The programme also ensures Golden Circle access for the lucky 200 race ticket-holders each day, as well as, 20 per cent discount on general admission tickets for selected Flash events this year.
Yasalam, which means 'Wow', was launched as part of the inaugural Grand Prix in 2009 and now has evolved into one of the most anticipated community events every year. The programme activities and events have attracted over one million attendees, both residents and visitors, and have seen more than 150 performing artistes, including 20 multi-award winning international and regional superstars.
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