The United Arab Emirates has some of the greatest modern attractions in the world. From the tallest building in the world to man-made islands, the UAE is certainly benefiting from its abundant oil. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been in the forefront of all these developments.
The Yas Island is one such development. It is the site of project by Aldar Properties estimated to cost around $36 billion. The total land area of the island is 2,500 hectares and around a third of that is earmarked for development. The ambitious tourism project features a movie entertainment park, water theme park, malls, golf courses and links, lagoon hotels, villas, apartments, polo clubs, marinas and food and beverage establishments.
This water theme park builds upon the country’s past as a major source of pearls before oil was discovered. Built over a land area of 15 hectares, Yas Waterworld features 43 rides, slides and other attractions, four of which cannot be seen anywhere else around the world. All the rides are connected by a theme based on the adventures of the park’s main character named Dana. Dana is a young Emirati girl looking for a legendary pearl. This pearl is what has brought prosperity to her village. A one of a kind pearl diving attraction has been incorporated into the park.
Yas Waterworld also features the Bandit Bomber, the first roller coaster in the world to include on-board water and laser effects. It is also the longest suspended roller coaster in the region running over 550 meters. The park also has the Liwa Loop, the first looping waterslide in the Middle East.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World is the largest indoor theme park in the world. It is inspired by the luxury Ferrari brand, as well as its Italian heritage. It has more than 20 unique and thrilling rides and attractions along with themed stores and restaurants. It also features the fastest roller coaster in the world called the Formula Rossa. It has a top speed of 240 kilometers per hour and allows those riding to experience 4.8 Gs. The track design takes inspiration from some of the most famous tracks in the world. Safety goggles are required and provided.
Yas Marina Circuit
It has the longest straight of all the current circuits in Formula One. It is further spiced up by 21 twists and turns. And you can feel all of this by experiencing the circuit yourself. You can take a seat beside a professional instructor or take the wheels yourself. You can even bring your own car. A valid UAE driver’s license is required, however. Visitors can run, bike or stroll around the circuit. Drag racing is available through a Chevrolet Camaro. You can also drive around using an Aston Martin. Karting for visitors at least eight years old is also available.
Yas Links Abu Dhabi
It is one of the top golf courses outside the United States. The fairways are uneven, the wind condition is unpredictable and there are pot bunkers all around. It is one of golf’s ultimate test. You can also practice and perfect your swing in the driving range.
Yas Gateway Park
This is a manicured park strategically located in the island. It has spacious lawns for you and your family to relax. There are tennis courts available and the wide area allows for football games. Picnic and barbeque facilities are available.
The Staybridge Suites allows you an option of apartment style studios, one bedroom or two bedroom suites. There is a kitchen in every unit. Breakfast and coffee by the renowned chef Wolfgang Puck is served everyday. It also has a 25-meter swimming pool, library and limousine service. Wi-Fi Internet access is free in all rooms and common areas.
The du Arena is a customized open-air forum designed for concerts and performances by musical artists. The arena has a cooling system to lower the temperature of the venue.
Designed for indoor performances, the du Forum is a state of the art facility that features an on-ground management team and dedicated professionals. Parking is available for 1,500 vehicles. A modern air condition system is also in place.
For those who love the sea, the Yas Marina offers 175 berths for boats from 8 to 150 meters. Annual membership comes at an affordable rate. Non-members can avail of daily, weekly or monthly rates. Visitors are allowed to berth for free for four hours. For those who don’t have a boat, you can ride the Azure Marine to experience sailing around the waters of the UAE.
IKEA Yas Island
This Swedish concept store offers furniture and functional home products. It accepts US, British, Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Saudi, Qatari and Omani currencies, as well as all major credit cards.
Places to Stay
Yas Island Rotana
This hotel boasts of 281 rooms and 27 suites. Guests can also choose from four restaurants, two bars and a café. A health and fitness center is also available, along with a fully-equipped business center staffed by well-trained people.
This hotel has 428 rooms, 45 suites and 10 meeting rooms. There are three restaurants and a bar that guests can choose from. A health and fitness center and a squash court are also available.
This hotel has 204 rooms with a view of the sea and Yas Links. There are two restaurants and one bar. The outdoor swimming pool has a kiddie area. Health club and tennis court are also available.
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
This hotel has 499 rooms and suites. There are seven restaurants, four bars and two lounges that guests can choose from. A 24-hour gym is available. Two swimming pools can be accessed at the roof top.
This hotel has 397 rooms and suites overlooking the sea and Yas Links. It has two restaurants and two bars that guests can choose from. Health club and spa are available, as well as a swimming pool and a tennis court.
Centro Yas Island
This hotel has 259 rooms, two restaurants and one bar. Health and fitness center and swimming pool are also available.
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