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Yas Island

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Yas Island leisure destination in Abu Dhabi

Yas Island

Yas Island is a natural island close to Abu Dhabi city being developed as a leisure and entertainment destination in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Aldar Properties, an Abu Dhabi based company, is the master developer of Yas Island. The island is about 10 mins drive from the Abu Dhabi airport, about 30 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, and about 1 hour from Jebel Ali end of Dubai. The highlight of Yas Island will be the Yas Island grand prix circuit - the race circuit being built to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, starting in November 2009.

When Yas Island is complete you could think of the Island as Monte Carlo, Florida, and Las Vegas all in one destination (but without the history, hurricanes, or gambling). The Yas Island project was first announced by Aldar Properties in November 2006, and total value of development is somewhere in the region of AED 150 billion (US$40 billion). That's billion, not million, and 100 times the cost of just the F1 circuit. Total area of Yas Island is 2500 hectares (about 25 sq km, one third of the size of the main Abu Dhabi island), although some reports have a figure of 25,000,000 million square metres (the confusing use of digits and words resulting in a figure that is 50% larger than the area of Russia). Apart from the F1 circuit, Yas Island will include

  • Equestrian center and 4 polo fields
  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park as part of Yas Island Phase I (more details below)
  • Geant Abu Dhabi - French Hypermarket as one of the Yas Mall anchor stores.
  • Golf courses - three of them? (Yas Links Golf Course as part of Phase I, ready for tee-off in early 2010?)
  • Hotels - 7 with 2000 rooms planned as part of Phase I.
  • Ikea Abu Dhabi as part of Yas Mall.
  • Retail shopping, golf course, restaurants and cafes, residential property, boutique spas, lagoons, commercial offices.
  • Warner Bros theme park Abu Dhabi - where people in funny suits will say "What's Up Doc" to visitors
  • Water Park and other entertainment venues.
  • Yacht marinas - one as part of the F1 circuit. Another one or two marinas.
  • Yas Arena - concert area. Renamed as Du Arena on 13 May 2012 (4 year sponsorship partnership with Du telecom in the UAE).
  • Yas Island Zabeel Investments Golf Course designed by Kyle Phillips, on the west coast of Yas Island, close to Ferrari World (that should make for tempting targets).
  • Yas Mall shopping center with 700 shops, restaurants, and gardens (November 2008 news). Area 300,000 sq m (about 3m sq ft). See Abu Dhabi shopping malls for more information.
Yas Island completion date

Realistically, the complete Yas Island project might be finished by 2020. Some dates supplied/published

  • 2018 for entre project (7 Days 19 September 2007)
  • 2014 for entire project (Gulf News 19 September 2007)
  • 2008 end for Phase I (various sources in 2007)
Yas Island construction schedule

When Yas Island was first announced in 2006, reports said completion was scheduled for 2011. Later reports in September 2007 gave scheduled completion dates of 2014 (The Gulf News) and 2018 (7 Days). The entire project is in 4 phases, with phase one originally scheduled to be complete by the end of 2008 (which it wasn't). Phase one includes

  • Formula 1 GP race track
  • Seven hotels with 2000 rooms
  • Links Golf Course
  • Ferrari World theme park
Yas Island Tunnel (Yas Tunnel)
  • Yas Tunnel connects Al Raha Beach to Yas Island. Officially opened 04 October 2010 (press release).
  • Tunnel length 1.1 km, width 43m, internal height clearance 4.5m, total of 6 lanes for traffic. Also a 9m wide central cell provision for future Light Rail Transit.
  • Connects attractions including Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island Hotels, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi to Al Bandar and Al Raha Gardens residential communities, and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
  • Construction the result of an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) and Aldar Properties as part of Plan Capital 2030. Operation and maintenance handed over to the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DOT).
  • Construction materials include 27,000 tonnes of steel and 160,000 sq m of concrete.
  • Main project contractor was Taisei Corporation, subcontractor Al Naboodah for civil and structural work, and Alnasr (Al Nasr) for MEP work.
Yas Island Phase I
  • Phase I completion date originally scheduled for end 2008, pushed back to end 2009 ... maybe
  • Hotels - first seven to be built on Yas Island
  • Yas Links Golf Course - open by end of 2009 perhaps March 2010
  • Yas Marina - open October 2009
  • Yas Marina Circuit - ready for first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 01 November 2009
  • Yas Yacht Club - open by end of 2009 perhaps
Yas Island Phase II
  • Ferrari World theme park (was originally part of Phase I?) - opening date in 2010
  • Yas Mall shopping center - opening date 26 March 2014 (03 Jun 2013 announcement by Aldar Properties, the developer of the mall).
Yas Island Phase III
Yas Island Phase IV
Yas Links Golf Course
  • Yas Links Golf Course official opening date 26 March 2010 (delayed from 2009).
  • Course designer is Kyle Phillips.
  • Developer and owner is Aldar Golf, a subsidiary of Aldar Properties. General Manager of Aldar Gold is Chris White.
  • Golf course specifications: Par 72 Championship Links Course with 144 bunkers to attract your balls, and 8 of the holes along the coastline for added ball-losing opportunities.
  • Course lengths: Championship Tees - 7,450 yards, Back Tees - 7,053 yards, Medal Tees - 6,671 yards, Members Tees - 6,233 yards, Ladies Tees - 5,431 yards.
  • Golf practice facilities include: 9 Hole Par 3 academy course, floodlit driving range, Golf Academy with 2 indoor swing studios and 8 covered hitting bays, chipping and bunker practice area.
  • General facilities include: Main Clubhouse, Golf Pro Shop, Ladies and Mens locker rooms with steamrooms, private boat mooring area, events lawn for functions, croquet lawn, terrace area, pavilions.
  • Drinking and dining facilities include a Sports Bar, and a Mediterranean Restaurant.
Warner Bros Abu Dhabi - 27 September 2007
  • A Warner Bros theme park will be established on Yas Island. Harry Potter and Bugs Bunny are well known WB employees.
  • The entertainment venue will be a joint venture (JV) between Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi Media Company, and Warner Brothers Entertainment.
  • The project on Yas Island will also include a hotel, and cinema complexes.
  • The WB-AUH deal also includes a film production unit to be established with Abu Dhabi Media Company.
  • Start date scheduled for 2009.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Yas Island
Yas Island Water Park - Yas Island Water World
  • 19 Jan 2013 - Yas Island Water World opened a few days earlier than previously announced, on 19 January 2013.
  • 17 Dec 2012 - Yas Island Waterworld opening date announced as 24 January 2013. Total of 43 rides and attractions. More rides and details include:
    • Slither's Slides - a maze of six slides and tunnels, with water sprays, LED light effects, 3D videos.
    • Pearlmasters - lost treasure search with artificial sea creatures, water cannons, puzzles, sculptures.
  • 15 Sep 2012 - Yas Waterworld might open by end of November or early December 2012. According to latest press release, rides include:
    • Bandit Bomber - 550 meter long suspended roller coaster with on-board water and laser special effects.
    • Bubbles' Barrel - the world's largest surfable sheet wave (FlowBarrel), 3 meters high.
    • Dawwama - first and longest hydromagnetic powered tornado in the world (238m long), you ride the walls of a 20 meter high funnel.
    • Falcon's Falaj - a 300 meter water slide.
    • Liwa Loop - a looping waterslide, you stand on a platform that falls away and releases you into the slide.
    • Pearlmasters - a SplashQuest interactive game.
29 April 2012 press release
  • Yas Island Water World or Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi officially launched at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition in Dubai on 30 April 2012.
  • Opening date scheduled for Q4 2012. Operator is Farah Leisure Parks Management LLC.
  • Rides and attractions include
    • Bandit Bomber - suspended rollercoaster with water and laser effects
    • Bubbles' Barrel - a surfable sheet wave
    • Dawwama - a hydromagnetic-powered tornado
    • Falcon's Falaj - long water slide
    • Liwa Loop - high-intensity looping waterslide
    • Qaryat Al Jewana Village - traditional souq theme
    • Slither's Slides - 6 twisting slides with tunnels
13 June 2010 press release
  • A water park is to be developed on Yas Island, announced by Aldar Properties in a 13 June 2010 press release.
  • Area of water park is 16.4 hectares, with over 40 rides and attractions, including
    • Cable water skiing
    • Scuba diving
    • The Giant Maelstrom
    • Velkoma Water Bomber
    • The Master Blaster
    • Bubba tub ride
    • Activity pool with a Rain Fortress, Wave pool, and Lazy River
  • Lead designer is Atkins in the UK who intend to follow Estidama guidelines for environmental friendliness and sustainability.
  • Construction scheduled to start in July 2010, with completion date planned for 2012.
Yas Island hotels and resorts

Aldar says (Jan 2009 press release) that 7 hotels will be open on Yas Island by November 2009 when the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fires up. There should be four 5-star hotels, one 4-star hotel, and two 3-star hotels with a total of about 2300 rooms, 20 restaurants, and another 10 bars or other eating and drinking outlets.

  • Centro by Rotana Yas Island hotel, 3 star, 259 rooms, opening scheduled for 2009.
  • Crowne Plaza, 5 stars, opening scheduled by November 2009, opening date 01 November 2009, part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). Total 428 rooms, second Abu Dhabi Crowne Plaza hotel, within walking distance of the Yas Marina Circuit and the Yas Links Golf Course. Overlooks the Yas Creek. Facilities include Sundowner Pool Bar, squash courts, 25 meter swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, business facilities.
  • Ibis Yas Island and Novotel Yas Island by Accor Hotels, scheduled for completion in 2010 (October 2007 press release). Constructor Leighton International - Al Habtoor Engineering JV ($130 million contract)?
  • Park Inn, 3 star, opening scheduled by November 2009. Operator / owner Rezidor Hotel Group. Facilities include 204 rooms, 2 restaurants (one South African), swimming pool, 2 bars (one in lobby, one with pool).
  • Radisson SAS Yas Island, 5 stars, 370 rooms (May 2008 press release), opening sheduled by November 2009.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel - owner and operator is Rezidor Hotel Group.
  • Rotana - see Yas Island Rotana Resort below.
  • Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island, 4-stars, opening scheduled for September 2009, actual opening date 01 November 2009, 165 suites of 1-3 bedrooms (no studios) with kitchens, location by the Links Championship Golf Course, 5m walk from the Yas Marina Circuit. Hotel is being marketed to workers with the hotel manager hosting an after-work reception 4 days per week, complimentary breakfast available. Facilities include 25m swimming pool, exercise room, guest laundry, grocery shop open 24/7, wireless internet (free). Staybridge is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
  • Taj Palace Hotel Resort Yas Island, 5 stars (of course), 500 rooms (May 2008 press release).
  • Yas Island Rotana Resort, 5 stars, 308 rooms, scheduled to open July 2009.
  • Yas Marina Hotel (Yas Hotel), 5 stars, the F1 circuit hotel, 500 rooms (252 deluxe, 247 executive), outside covered in LEDs that change color, inside is noisy with F1 cars driving around in circles looking for a car park. Opening date scheduled before November 2009. Operator is Aldar Hotels and Hospitality (Managing Director Paul Bell). Lead Architects are Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture. Clever LED light system, over 200,000 of them, provided by Cooper Lighting (designer) and Enfis Group (LED producer), both companies in UK. Two presidential suites over 400 sq meters each include a terrace, lap pool, and dining room for 16 people. Hotel facilities include 14 bars and restaurants, ballroom and other conference facilites, spa with hamam, gym, and rooftop lounge, cafe, and pools. Website www.theyashotel.com. Information from press release 05 May 2009.
  • Yas Viceroy Hotel.
Last update Tuesday 10-Dec-2013
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