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01 December 2023

Quiet on noise complaints: Autodrome

Ferrari 430 at the FIA GT3 championship at the Dubai Autodrome. (FILE)

By Shuchita Kapur

Even as organisers billed the fifth Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai at the Dubai Autodrome a major success with huge crowds witnessing the event over the weekend, some residents of the Sports City and adjoining areas such as Arabian Ranches complained of high noise levels from cars racing on the turf.

When contacted by Emirates 24|7, a Dubai Autodrome spokesperson said that it is perhaps unreasonable to complain about the noise considering the benefits of the event.

“Dubai Autodrome is a race circuit that has been in this area since 2004 when only Arabian Ranches existed in an under construction state. Since then the area has blossomed and people who move here are surely aware that this is a race circuit and there will be noise on occasion. This we find to be an unreasonable complaint considering the benefits attached to this event,” said Paul Velasco, Communications Manager at Dubai Autodrome.

According to the official, people should also consider the benefits of the event and the kind of positive attention that Dubai gets due to this spectacle. “The Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai happens once a year, it has huge benefits for the economy of Dubai while providing positive global exposure for the city,” he said.

Velasco maintains that the event attracted a sizeable number of people, including team members and spectators. “The event this year (as in past years) brought in 87 teams from around the globe, 150 nationalities represented by over 400 drivers and an estimated 2,500 crew members, marshals, officials and organizing staff – all coming in from abroad,” he said.

“Furthermore, an estimated 2,000 fans, families, etc. who follow this particular style of racing would have flown into Dubai. Thus a fair estimate of the influx of international visitors spending on average five days in the city would amount to anything between 6,000 to 8,000 people,” he added.

“For the start of the race we estimate about 5,000 people were in the stands and hospitality areas of the circuit watching proceedings. The event is seen as the annual opening race of the global road racing season, hence attracting great interest in the world of motorsport,” said the Dubai Autodrome official.

Moreover, the philanthropy spirit of the event cannot be discounted, with about Dh75,000 donated by the participating teams for fighting cancer. In an innovative approach, the organisers asked participating teams to donate a minimum of €1 per completed lap per team, with the proceeds going to Dutch Cancer Society. “In total Dh73,536.25 was collected by the organisers during the race from teams,” said Velasco.