Home / Site visit: Motorsport Business Park, Dubai Autodrome

Site visit: Motorsport Business Park, Dubai Autodrome

by Fatima De La Cerna on Aug 26, 2017

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When the 7th installment of the Fast & Furious film franchise was released in 2015, featuring scenes shot in Abu Dhabi, movie critics and viewers were quick to point out the suitability of the location choice.

After all, to many people, the UAE has become synonymous with fast and flashy vehicles.

In the Telegraph’s review of the film, for instance, the newspaper’s film critic dismissed the plot’s explanation for the cast’s trip to the UAE capital, writing: “The real point of their visit, of course, is to ogle the country’s finely tuned, outrageously expensive supercars.”

It’s important to note, of course, that merely owning fast cars does not necessarily equate to racing – especially in public settings. Nevertheless, with international events such as the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and national races like the NGK Racing Series, it’s fair to say that the UAE has more than its fair share of petrolheads.

Such events reflect an active motorsports sector, as the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) tells Construction Week: “The motorsports industry has experienced steady growth year on year, via promoters, organisers, and world-class facilities.”

One such facility is Dubai Autodrome. Located within Union Properties’ (UP) Motor City development, it opened in 2004 and features a 5.39km circuit that has been sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the global authority that governs auto racing events.

The Dubai Autodrome circuit offers six different configurations, as well as karting tracks, a school for aspiring racing drivers, a grandstand retail plaza, and the still under-construction Motorsport Business Park.

Valued at $4.3m (AED15.8m) and spanning 5,600m2, the Motorsport Business Park project certainly isn’t the largest Dubai development on paper. Neither is it particularly demanding from an architectural perspective; the facility resembles a warehouse, and for many activities, will function as one.

It is, however, a space that will offer both utility and convenience to an underserved demographic: businesses operating within the region’s motorsports industry, and their customer base of racing enthusiasts.

Speaking with Construction Week, Ryan Trutch, special projects and Kartdrome manager at Dubai Autodrome, says: “It’s basically a warehouse structure. We’ll have a pantry and toilets inside each unit, but [the project] is designed so that tenants can [tailor their] units as they desire.

“Some of them will have showrooms; some will use the units as offices; and some as workshops. The tenants all have different core businesses, so they will fit out their units as per their requirements.”

When Construction Week visited the site of Motorsport Business Park in June 2017, there were only 48 workers present, with the number expected to peak at 120.

Moreover, construction progress was nearing the halfway mark – a clear indication that the project will meet its 31 December, 2017 target completion deadline, according to Multilink Contracting. Awarded the main contractor package, worth $3.4m (AED12.5m), in January 2017, the company also carried out the foundation work for the development.