SAY YAS

Must-visit at­trac­tions in Yas Is­land

Business Traveller (India) - - CONTENTS -

Avisit to Abu Dhabi would be in­com­plete with­out ex­plor­ing the vivacious Yas Is­land. In 2006, when Abu Dhabibased Al­dar prop­er­ties en­vi­sioned this isle, it saw po­ten­tial in it as an ex­cit­ing hub for sports, leisure, re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment. A phased in­vest­ment of over US$40 bil­lion in­tro­duced the world to this multi-pur­pose leisure des­ti­na­tion that wel­comes mil­lions of tourists each year.

GET­TING HERE

There are many con­ve­nient ways to reach Yas Is­land once you’re in Abu Dhabi. If you’re land­ing at Abu Dhabi In­ter­na­tional Air­port, a seven-minute drive can get you here. Con­sid­er­ing Dubai is one of the more fre­quently vis­ited emi­rates, Yas Is­land’s prox­im­ity to Dubai Air­port (a 50-minute drive) makes it quite pop­u­lar amongst a large num­ber of tourists. There is also a six-pad he­li­port at Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit, for those who wish to di­rectly fly in.

FER­RARI WORLD ABU DHABI

If you’re land­ing into Abu Dhabi, the iconic bird’seye view of the uniquely shaped, bright red Fer­rari World won’t dis­ap­point. Home to the fastest roller coaster in the world (For­mula Rossa at 240kmph), this thrilling theme park is so­lace to those in the need for speed. A first in the world by the Ital­ian au­to­mo­tive icon, it is an amuse­ment pow­er­house in the heart of Yas Is­land. The other en­thralling roller coast­ers here in­clude Fly­ing Aces that fea­tures the world’s steep­est and the fastest ca­ble lift, and the tallest in­verted loop at 52 me­tres, and Turbo Track, its lat­est grav­ity de­fy­ing ride. You could also watch an en­dear­ing 4D fan­tasy film ti­tled Speed of Magic for some fam­ily fun. If you’ve al­ways wanted to know what it’s like to drive a Fer­rari Cal­i­for­nia this could be your chance as you can rent one for a while. There is also a host of shop­ping and din­ing fa­cil­i­ties at the park. Open daily 11am-8pm; tel: +971 2 496 8000; one-day park pass starts from AED 275/`4,820; fer­rari­world­abud­habi.com.

YAS WATERWORLD

Splash­ing into the water on a swel­ter­ing day in Abu Dhabi is not a bad idea. Spread across 37 acres is Yas Waterworld, the world’s only Emi­rati-themed wa­ter­park — re­flect­ing Ara­bic nu­ances in the decor. The park boasts of 43 twisting tun­nels, slides and rides that are built to amuse peo­ple of all ages. Yas Waterworld is also known to be tod­dler-friendly, for busi­ness trav­ellers vis­it­ing the emi­rate with their lit­tle ones. Dawwama (the world’s pre­mier hy­dro­mag­netic-pow­ered six-per­son tor­nado wa­ter­slide), Bandit Bomber (the long­est sus­pended roller coaster in the Mid­dle East at 550 me­tres) and Bub­bles Bar­rel (largest “surf-able” sheet wave in the Mid­dle East) are some of its water-based rides for the dare­dev­ils. Yas Waterworld also has a num­ber of wave pools with kid-size slides and water guns for chil­dren. Open daily 10am-8pm; tel: +971 2 414 2000; one-day park pass starts from AED 185/`3,236; yaswa­ter­world.com.

YAS MA­RINA CIR­CUIT

Home to the fa­mous For­mula 1 Eti­had Air­ways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit of­fers a wide range of au­to­mo­tive ex­pe­ri­ences. You can drive a high-per­for­mance car on the cir­cuit or be driven by a pro­fes­sional driver for an adren­a­line rush. With wheels like As­ton Martin GT4, Mercedes AMG-GTS, Jaguar F-Type S Coupé, or For­mula Yas 3000 race car (made specif­i­cally for Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit), you’re spoilt for choice. You could even bring your own ve­hi­cle to test its per­for­mance on a pro­fes­sional race track or bring along some col­leagues to race with at Yas Kart Zone. If you’re keen about the races, you could plan your trip ac­cord­ing to the an­nual For­mula 1 Eti­had Air­ways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that takes place on Novem­ber 26 this year. Open daily; prices for ac­tiv­i­ties start from AED 125/`2,185; tel: +971 2 659 9800; yas­mari­nacir­cuit.com.

YAS MALL

Sprawl­ing across 2,50,000 sqm, this re­tail, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment hub can be ac­cessed di­rectly from Fer­rari World Abu Dhabi. It’s the largest mall in the emi­rate that of­fers a host of la­bels across its three storeys. Th­ese in­clude Zara, Nike, Adi­das and depart­ment stores like Deben­hams and Tryano. Yas Mall also fea­tures a num­ber of din­ing op­tions across cuisines for all palate pref­er­ences. Abu Dhabi’s first Cheese Cake Fac­tory to Rogo’s, the Roller Coaster restau­rant are a cou­ple of fun F&B ex­pe­ri­ences to pick from here. Its food court has 25 op­tions, en­sur­ing you’re sa­ti­ated af­ter some re­tail ther­apy. It also houses VOX Cin­e­mas with 20 screens and Abu Dhabi’s largest IMAX screen and Fun Works, where you can drop off the kids while you shop. Open daily 10am-10pm; tel: +971 2 414 6401; yas­mall.ae.

YAS LINKS

There’s noth­ing like a few rounds of golf on a busi­ness trip. And where else than one of the finest golf cour­ses in the UAE. This coastal golf course is a stun­ning stretch of green for those who en­joy a game of golf with a view. Opened in 2010, it has been ranked by Golf Di­gest as the num­ber one golf course in the Mid­dle East. The 18-hole course was planned by renowned de­signer Kyle Phillips, and makes for a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment for even the most ex­pe­ri­enced golfer. Yas Links also has a Golf­ing Academy for those look­ing to learn pro­fes­sional golf. Hick­ory’s is the F&B out­let at the fa­cil­ity that serves a range of in­ter­na­tional cuisines, of­fer­ing stun­ning views of the course. Yas Links also launched a gym and fit­ness stu­dio in March 2017. Open daily, round the clock; tel: +971 2 810 7777; yaslinks.com.

YAS BEACH

Another fun place to un­wind at is Yas Beach. This white sandy stretch is dot­ted with an ex­ten­sive range of food and bev­er­age op­tions, from Ara­bic bites to wood-fired piz­zas. Grab a slice and sun­bathe on one of the beach beds and ca­banas that populate the seashore. You could even dine at the fullser­vice restau­rant and order a de­li­cious cock­tail. The ad­ven­tur­ous kind can try water sports such as jet skies, sail­ing, kayak­ing and windsurfing un­der the watch­ful eye of top in­struc­tors. There is also an ex­clu­sive Yas Beach Club with an infinity pool. The club hosts par­ties too at its pri­vate beach. Open daily 10am-7pm; tel: +971 56 242 0435; yas­beach.ae.

DU ARENA AND DU FO­RUM

If you’re look­ing to at­tend a larger than life ex­pe­ri­ence, du Arena will al­ways have some­thing ex­cit­ing to of­fer. It could be a sport­ing event or a mu­sic fes­ti­val, this colos­sal sta­dium is known for its leg­endary per­for­mances that take place through the year. Af­ter-race con­certs for the For­mula 1 Eti­had Air­ways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are also held here. For large scale busi­ness events, du Fo­rum of­fers its pil­lar-less space that can ac­com­mo­date up to 3,000 del­e­gates. tel: +971 2 509 8143; du­fo­rum.ae.

GET­TING AROUND YAS IS­LAND

The eas­i­est way to get around Yas Is­land is via its com­pli­men­tary shut­tle ser­vice that con­nects all the ma­jor at­trac­tions of the isle.

Far left: Yas Waterworld Be­low: Yas Beach Club

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