Over the last decade, the United Arab Emirates has continually reshaped its coastal resort environments in truly spectacular ways, and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is no exception. Although not due for total completion until 2018, this multipurpose leisure, entertainment and shopping island is already one of the city’s major draws. It has been hailed as the world’s leading tourism project.
The centerpiece of the man-made island is Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, a five-star hotel that is built half over land and half over water. The island also features a world-class Formula 1 racetrack, the Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix each November. Throughout the year, get behind the wheel with qualified driving coaches and experience the horsepower of the various race and drag cars on offer.
In keeping with the adrenaline theme, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a stylistic homage to one of the world’s most desirable automotive marques. With over 20 rides ranging from educational to exhilarating, this is sure to delight thrill-seekers of all ages.
Cool off at the nearby Yas Waterworld, a massive water park with dozens of slides, rides and other attractions. Many of the rides, such as the Bandit Bomber’s water roller coaster, are one of a kind.
On the west shore of the island, tee off at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, a state-of-the-art golf course designed by renowned course architect Kyle Phillips. Based on traditional courses found in coastal Scotland, all 18 holes have ocean views. Nearby on the quiet southern shore is the island’s only beach, Yas Beach, the perfect place to soak up the sun or enjoy a picnic.
While you could easily spend a week or two at Yas Island, it is also the perfect day getaway from Abu Dhabi. The island is just a 30-minute drive from the city and is also accessible by seaplane or boat. While on the island, take advantage of the Yas Express, a complimentary shuttle that regularly runs between all of the island’s major attractions.