By Jasmine O’Donoghue
Abu Dhabi’s Yas island is set to take a stronger role in the city’s tourism industry with developer Aldar Properties planning to inject AED 1.9 billion (AU$687m) into four projects on Yas and Al Reem Islands.
The company has detailed a program which would add a four-star hotel to Yas Island. Offering 349 keys, of which 70 would be serviced apartments, the Yas Mall Hotel would be attached to the mall and aimed at the family segment.
Under the plan, Yas Island’s retail portfolio would also be extended to capture more motor-sport enthusiasts. The development would be dedicated to the consumer segment of the automotive market and contain new car dealerships and food and beverage outlets.
Closer to the CBD on Al Reem Island, Aldar Properties intends to build a 262-key four-star hotel as part of a mixed-use development and 600 mid-market residential units.
Yas Island is already high on the list of Abu Dhabi’s key destinations, blending together luxury, opulence and roller coasters. The five-star Yas Viceroy is one of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic hotels and a nirvana for rev heads. It lays claim to being the only hotel to have a race track run right through it and it’s connecting bridge doubles as a brilliant vantage point during the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix. Fans of the sport who can’t afford the premium rate during the event can get lucky out of the peak season, with drivers often conducting training at the track in the off season. But don’t let the race track fool you, this hotel is a destination in its own right. It boasts top-class dining, the largest capacity ballroom for events in the city and oozes Middle Eastern hospitality.
While the track isn’t in use, car lovers can get their fix at Ferrari World. Serving up much more than just expensive cars on a pedestal, this theme park packs in driving simulators, go karting and themed shows. For those who prefer to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground, Ferrari world is connected to the Yas Mall, offering 370 stores and more than 60 indoor and outdoor restaurants and cafes.