Must-visit attractions and top activities on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi It goes without saying that Yas Island is intrinsically linked with all things motorsport and cars, which makes it the perfect home for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. This is the only theme park of its kind in the world, and it features a host of incredible rides inspired by the Italian car-maker. You can brave the fastest roller coaster in the world, Formula Rossa. Once strapped in and wearing protective goggles, you’ll be propelled to 240kph in just 4.9 seconds, and will feel forces of 4.8G. There’s nothing else like it for the adrenaline rush. For more record-breaking thrills, take a spin on Flying Aces, which features the world’s highest roller coaster loop at 63 metres. For little ones, there are more sedate rides, including the Junior Grand Prix and Bell’Italia, which get kids behind the wheel. You can also get up close and personal with a collection of Ferrari’s most iconic cars, and, when you get hungry, there are plenty of dining options, including Italian eatery Ristorante Cavallino. It’s perfect for a full day of family fun. www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com.
Yas Marina This area is best known for its excellent bars and eateries (not boats). Casual sports venue Stars ’N’ Bars is the best place to catch the big game. For something a bit classier, there’s Iris, with its stunning marina views, or Italian style and dining at Cipriani. Turn to Eywoa for water sports activities such as kitesurfing. But there are also more sedate ocean-faring options should you be so inclined, such as cruises with Captain Tony’s and bespoke trips with Azure Marine Charters. www.yasmarina.ae.
Yas Links This is one of Yas Island’s most famous attractions for good reason; there are some seriously exhilarating slides at this impressive water park. It has a UAE theme, based on “The Legend of the Lost Pearl”, and 45 rides, slides and attractions. There are four “thrill” levels to appeal to the entire family. Shaheen’s Adrenalin Rush is for extreme splashing, including the incredibly steep Jebel Drop and Liwa Loop, a free-fall slide that will leave your heart in your mouth. For the children, Sultan’s Young Fun features kid-friendly swimming pools, while there are also games and play areas dotted around the park. There are plenty of dining options, too. You’re going to need a full day here to make the most of it. www.yaswaterworld.com.
This is one of Yas Island’s most famous attractions for good reason; there are some seriously exhilarating slides at this impressive water park. It has a UAE theme, based on “The Legend of the Lost Pearl”, and 45 rides, slides and attractions. There are four “thrill” levels to appeal to the entire family. Shaheen’s Adrenalin Rush is for extreme splashing, including the incredibly steep Jebel Drop and Liwa Loop, a free-fall slide that will leave your heart in your mouth. For the children, Sultan’s Young Fun features kid-friendly swimming pools, while there are also games and play areas dotted around the park. There are plenty of dining options, too. You’re going to need a full day here to make the most of it. www.yaswaterworld.com.
Yas Beach This is far more than just a stretch of sand. There are bars, restaurants, pools, water sports, fitness classes and, yes, a beach. Noukhada Watersports organises non-motorised activities, including kayaking, sailing and snorkelling. If you’d rather stay dry, there’s also a volleyball court and outdoor gym. Kids have a dedicated pool and regular activities such as sandcastle-building. Or, you can ignore our suggestions and just laze about on the beach. One hot tip: if you’re looking for something special, book one of the VIP cabanas for the ultimate beach day. www.yasbeach.ae.
Seawings at Yas Marina To get an all-together different view of Yas Island, and the rest of Abu Dhabi, take off on a flight with Seawings from the Yas Marina. You’ll fly over Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World and around the city, seeing Emirates Palace, Sheikh Zayed Bridge and the mangroves during the 25-minute flight. It’ll be an unforgettable experience. www.seawings.ae.
Yas Marina Circuit We all know Yas Marina Circuit is the place to be during the F1 weekend, but this is a year-round destination, too. Get behind the wheel of everything from an Aston Martin GT4 to a single-seater Formula 3000 Yas racing car, and be guided around the track by an instructor. Or, you could always walk, run or cycle around the 5.5k-long track, as every Tuesday night it’s open to exercisers for free! www.yasmarinacircuit.com.
The Yas Viceroy is easily one of Abu Dhabi’s more unique five-star hotels and has been a landmark ever since it opened back in 2009, straddling the Yas Marina Circuit and F1 track. It stands out not just for its futuristic design and eye-catching architecture, top-notch facilities and luxurious rooms, but also because it’s home to some world-class restaurants, such as the Italian Amici, Indian hotspot Angar and the chic Japanese eatery Kazu. Then there’s the nightlife: Skylite Rooftop Lounge offers a buzzing atmosphere and lovely views; and the new EMPIRE at Rush Nightclub is the only club in the world that’s built over an F1 racetrack. Of course, during F1 weekend there’s no better hotel to stay in, but throughout the rest of the year, too, this is a state-of-the-art property with a lot to offer its guests. www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/abudhabi.
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi Have you ever wondered what it would be like to soar to the skies like Superman or jump into the Batmobile and live the life of the Caped Crusader? Well, superhero dreams will come true, as Metropolis and Gotham City are brought to the capital as part of the eagerly-anticipated Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, set to open in 2018. For the first time in the Middle East, fans will be able to stroll the streets of this larger-than-life land, where heroic exploits and action-packed family fun wait around every corner. The jaw-dropping build will span 1.65 million square feet and boast 29 rides, shows and attractions in six separate worlds. Later, in 2022, Yas Island will also welcome its very own SeaWorld. www.wbworldabudhabi.com.