Emirates parades Formula One sponsorship

The ear-piercing engine howls of Formula One screamed into Dubai last week, as Emirates Airline paraded one of its most high- profile sports sponsorship deals.

An Emirates sponsored Team McLaren Mercedes, with F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel, sped along a city road in a demonstration ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Raikkonen gave the first demonstration of a Team McLaren Mercedes F1 car in the Middle East, driving around a specially closed section of Za'beel Road.

Emirates, one of the world's biggest sports sponsors, entered the Formula One circuit in March 2006 as a partner of Team McLaren Mercedes.

Starting from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, the Emirates logo has featured prominently on McLaren cars at races across Europe, Australasia, and North America. It is also seen on the uniform of team drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Pedro De La Rosa, and in the team's pit interior.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: "This demonstration was an exciting opportunity to experience the thrills of Formula One at first-hand.

"As an organisation closely associated with high-profile sport worldwide, we're very pleased to be involved in Formula One with Team McLaren Mercedes, and delighted to bring its unique excitement to Dubai for the first time."

Emirates was a headline sponsor of this summer's FIFA World Cup and also sponsors the UK's Arsenal FC.

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