What can a 25-million-square-foot island in Abu Dhabi offer?
Well, a world of thrill, excitement, and lots of fun, for starters.
Yas Island, the second largest man-made island in the world, sits just 10 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi Airport and is home to a medley of marvels ranging from sports and entertainment, dining, shopping, and other lifestyle pursuits that will surely make your blood sing.
Made to Move You
Named the World’s Leading Tourism Project by the World Travel Awards in 2009, Yas Island has definitely secured its spot on the global map. With 28 million visitors in 2018, the developer behind the island’s key leisure attractions forecasts a five percent rise for 2019.
One of the reasons for this visitor upsurge would be the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a Formula 1 racing event that has been held at the Yas Marina Circuit since 2009. With attractive Formula 1 package deals, exciting events, and other amazing attractions, it is no wonder that a lot of people flock to this jewel in the United Arab Emirates.
Aside from four fantastic days of Formula 1 race events, there is a multitude of other ways to enjoy the majesty of this island.
Here are some of the top tips on what you can do on your Yas Island getaway:
1. Lifestyle and Shopping
Live the ultimate shopping experience at Yas Mall. Take out your best card for shopping and scale through three levels of stores. Featuring 400 international and local brands, Yas Mall is a haven for shopaholics as they stroll through Abu Dhabi’s biggest luxury mall.
When retail therapy is not enough, visitors can also soothe their rumbling tummies and parched throats at any of the 90 indoor and outdoor dining establishments. With cuisines from different parts of the globe, you will surely savor the moments you spend here and bring home delicious memories.
Cascade Dining at Yas Mall also features 19 outlets of mouth-watering fare that ranges from American, Italian, and Middle Eastern to seafood and other delectable cuisines. It is open from 8:30 in the morning up until shisha time.
If you’re up for some silver screen time, catch the latest hits at any of the 24 state-of-the-art cinemas within Yas Mall. For those with kids, throw in some family time at Fun Works for some active fun.
2. Events and Entertainment
Events abound all around Yas Island. From seasonal happenings such as the summer promotions and Eid Al Adha celebrations to stand-up comedy gigs and concerts featuring international A-list artists, Yas Mall is brimming with entertaining activities to attend.
Yas Islands’s Du Arena is the region’s biggest open-air event venue. Here, you can book tickets to events such as the annual Yasalam After-Race Concerts that happen after the Formula 1 races. Global artists, the likes of which include Justin Timberlake, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and The Rolling Stones, have all performed here. Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers are also slated to rock the arena this 2019.
If you’re up for some spectacular partying, you can head on to MAD, the UAE’s largest indoor nightclub. Outside, you’d see the world’s largest privately-owned graffiti wall with 3,000 square meters of artistic graffiti painted by 19 top artists. Inside, be awed with the 360-degree 3D projection mapping that throws you into a world of three-dimensional scene transformations as you party the night away.
If you’re a motorhead, then a trip to watch the Formula 1 races at the Yas Marina Circuit would definitely be in your bucket list. The annual race draws thousands of crowds, with luxurious race packages that range from exclusive pit lane walks, F1 driver meet-and-greets, guided paddock access, premium seating, luxury superyacht experiences, and many more.
Golfers can also practice their swings at Yas Links with the scenic coastline of the Gulf as a charming backdrop. World-renowned coaches are also on hand to give a guiding hand for those who want to improve their game or take their play to a professional level. Non-golfers can relax and enjoy the decadent dining facility while overlooking the golf course, mangroves, and the glorious Links coastline.
Special sporting events such as the Abu Dhabi Sport and Fitness Expo at Du Forum and the UFC 242 Abu Dhabi at the Arena are also on the events calendar this September.
4. Theme Parks
A getaway to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is never complete without visiting any of the breathtaking theme parks.
Get a taste of the fast and furious pace of Ferraris at Ferrari World.
As the first and only Ferrari-branded theme park in the world, you get a one-of-a-kind experience. Home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster – the Formula Rossa – speed junkies get to ride in speeds of 240mph in 4.9 seconds. If that is not enough, you can still go around at sample the state-of-the-art simulators, over 20 other rides, and attractions, and live shows all in one refreshing, climate-controlled environment.
If that is not enough, you can still catch more exhilarating rides at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. Fulfill your adventure fantasies as you roam around six fictional worlds. Meet reel favorites like Batman, the Flash, Superman, and other Warner Bros. characters. When you get hungry, you can grab your choice of gastronomic delights while upbeat tunes are playing.
If you’re more of a water baby, head on to Yas Waterworld for some splash and dash. It houses the world’s largest hydro magnetic-powered tornado water slide. Aside from that, it also features 45 attractions, rides, and slides including five unique ones found only at Yas Waterworld. Park guests can also enjoy the world’s largest surfable sheet wave for bodyboards and flowboards.
5. Rest and Relaxation
If the adrenaline rush proves a bit too much with all the events and exciting happenings, you can finally get some rest and relaxation at any of the Yas hotels and partner accommodations.
Yas Island has seven premier hotels all offering the best amenities and impeccable customer service – Centro Yas Island, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi, Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, and Yas Island Rotana.
From rooftop pools, award-winning spas, and luxuriously-appointed suites, one can certainly recharge in any of these classy hotels. For September, children below 12 years of age accompanied by one paying adult can stay and play for free at any of the Yas Island theme parks.
Don’t forget to get a voucher from your Yas hotel to get complimentary access (and a sun lounger) at Yas Beach. Whether you want to swim in the soothing waters of the Arabian Sea or simply lounge around to enjoy the sun, sand, and serene landscape, this beach is a perfect getaway from all the zing and zest of other Yas landmarks.
Whether you fancy the Formula 1 races, adore the stellar shopping and dining experiences, or favor the laid back vibe of the beach, there’s always something just right for you at Yas Island.
If you’re hankering for a quick adventure, consider jetting off to the Arabian Peninsula and set your sights on this modern paradise called Yas Island.
Oliver Kent is the Managing Director of ZK Sports & Entertainment, operating in the Middle East for over 10 years now. He is currently leading the company’s recent appointment as the Exclusive Marketing and Sales Agent for F1 Experiences in the Middle East.