Interesting figures from Bahrain

The Bahrain circuit has given information about the attendance at the race in 2005, with a total of 77,257 over three days. According to the Gulf Daily News the attendance on Sunday last year was 34,000, a figure which seems about right given that the previous days would have attracted the same spectators, although they are counted three times if they attend the event on each day.

According to the circuit 54.5% of the crowd were Bahraini which means that around 17,000 people attended the race from a total population of 700,000. Twenty percent of the fans came from the Gulf area and 25% from further afield. Forty percent of the fans were also at the first race.

The organisers claim that this year the numbers will increase which is to be expected given the large sums of money that are being spent on road shows in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai and Egypt and a major Grand Prix banner and poster campaign.

The locals are offering cheap flights and hotels for $180 a night although members of the F1 circus are paying considerably more for their hotels and the F1 media are being asked to pay $100 for the weekend for communications to help promote Bahrain - which seems a rather odd way of winning hearts and minds.

There is, however, no doubt that Bahrain has plenty of development potential (much of the island remains desert) although to get out of the shadow of its more glamorous neighbour Dubai is not going to be the work of a moment.

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