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Yas Island: Abu Dhabi's latest leisure destination.
Tuesday, 21st July 2009
Source : 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). Apart from the F1 circuit, Yas Island will include:
  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (Image right) - a Ferrari theme park with a Ferrari Driving School (Pilota Ferrari)
  • Warner Bros Theme Park Abu Dhabi - where people in funny suits will say "What's Up Doc" to visitors
  • Golf courses - three of them?
  • 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).
  • Equestrian center and polo field
  • Yacht marinas - one as part of the F1 circuit. Another one or two marinas.
  • Hotels, retail shopping, golf course, restaurants and cafes, residential property, boutique spas, lagoons, commercial offices
  • Yas Mall shopping center with 700 shops, restaurants, and gardens (November 2008 news). Area 300,000 sq m (about 3m sq ft).
  • Water Park and other entertainment venues
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 Theme Park
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 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.
Yas Island hotels and resorts

Aldar says (January 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 / 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
  • 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 / operator Rezidor Hotel Group.
  • Rotana - see Yas Island Rotana Resort below
  • Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island, 4-stars, opening scheduled for September 2009. 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 (Image below) , 500 rooms (252 deluxe, 247 executive), outside covered in LEDs that change color, inside noisy with F1 cars driving around in circles looking for a car park, opening scheduled before November 2009. Operator is Aldar Hotels and Hospitality (Managing Director Paul Bell). Lead Architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture. 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.
www.yasisland.ae
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