Hyderabad's F1 ambitions

Hyderabad is the fifth largest city in India with a population of seven million. It is the state capital of Andhra Pradesh. The state government is aggressively pursuing a policy of developing the state with the tourism and high technology industries having been picked out as the best way of providing growth. The state sees itself as having huge potential for tourism and is building an international airport at Shamshabad, 15 miles outside Hyderabad. The area has been heavily influenced by Malaysia and there are plans for the construction of a Hitec City and an area called Cyberabad. Malaysian companies are involved in the development programmes, including Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhard, which is part of the consortium which will develop the new airport on a 5000 acre site donated by the Indian government. Malaysian Airports built the Formula 1 racing circuit at Sepang and it is no surprise that the idea of an F1 track in Hyderabad is now being mentioned. Indian is a vast market with a population of one billion people and a fast-developing middle class.

The city has decided that in order to build up tourism it should use sports as a medium and has just announced a deal with the International Management Group to promote international events in exchange for investment in the sports infrastructure. IMG will, therefore, fund the construction of sports academies and stadiums in an effort to help the state of Andhra Pradesh become a sports hub. The facilities planned include a golf course and a sports complex, which will boast 72 tennis courts, four soccer fields, a baseball training complex and a basketball court.

In addition Hyderabad has just announced that it will be a venue for a round of the UIM Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship in 2004 and has established the Andhra Pradesh Events Company (APEC) to promote other events.

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