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Analysis: Bahraini views on the 2017 Grand Prix

The Bahrain Grand Prix will kick off for its 13th edition in the Kingdom from 14-16 April, 2017. The event is anticipated to draw in tens of thousands of motorsport enthusiasts to the island kingdom. Citizens for Bahrain spoke to a wide range of Bahrainis to hear their opinion on the largest event held in the Kingdom: 

“The hottest destination in the region”

“I am very excited about the upcoming race, it’s my favourite time of the year in Bahrain with the F1 and its festivities. These events turn the country into the hottest destination in the region;” said Ahmed, age 33, from Riffa.

“The thousands of visitors add a great value to the economy. Bahrain is in need of such events that create jobs and provide more opportunities for Bahraini youth at the current challenging economic times;” said Maryam, age 28, from Manama. 

“I’m looking forward to the big F1 concerts because they don't happen all year long and the positive energy all around makes the country feel special;” said Khalid, age 30, from Saar. 

“A celebration of our country’s success”

“The race does great things for Bahrain. As a result of hosting the race, the country draws in thousands of international tourists, filling hotels to capacity and boosting retail sales and restaurant booking which will further help in improving the economy;” said Hassan, age 28, from Budaiya.

“We view the race as a national event and we take pride in hosting it and welcoming visitors from across the globe to our country. The Grand Prix is not just a sporting event to us, it’s a celebration of our country’s success;” said Sarah, age 31, from Manama. 

“All sports bring people together and after the world cup, the grand prix is the next biggest sporting event of the globe. People set aside their personal differences and come together to support their teams without politics, religion or prejudice;” said Alaa, age 32, from Muharraq.

“A unifying event”

“Bahrainis come together in a show of support to their nation. The Grand Prix has proven to be a unifying event following a time of social and political tension in 2011;” said Mai age 30,  from Isa Town. 

“The Grand Prix has been a success during the past few years despite attempts by Iran and radical groups to destabilise the country and have the event cancelled. This is a sign that Bahrainis will always stand united against extremism and anything that is against the interest of their nation;” said Ali, age 28, from Saar.

“This is a golden opportunity for anyone who wants to see what Bahrain is and what Bahrainis are capable of. You can see for yourself how the country is functioning without the bias and misconceptions portrayed in the media;” said Nader, age 31, from Budaiya.

“Firsthand experience of how pioneering Bahrain truly is”

“The success of this event is reflected on the whole nation and not the government. It’s the success of the Bahraini people who really benefit from hosting such an event. I don't understand the usual propaganda based on lies and fake news, by people who clearly don't want the country to succeed;” said Marwa, age 36, from Manama. 

“The international media has been portraying Bahrain as a war zone rife with injustice and political confusion. A global event like the F1, is the perfect opportunity for these misinformed media outlets to get their own firsthand experience of how pioneering Bahrain truly is;” said Abdullah, age 33, from Muharraq

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