Abu Dhabi says 'Yas' to the world
Leading property developer ALDAR Properties PJSC announced plans for Yas Island, one of the largest natural islands in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island will be a prestigious world-class leisure destination, with mixed-use tourist attractions including beaches, entertainment, shopping, hotels, residences, golfing, equestrian facilities and motor racing. Yas Island will host the world's first 'Ferrari World'.
Outlining the scale of the project, ALDAR's Chairman Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh commented on its size and ambitions: “Yas Island will combine the many natural attractions of an island with the world's most popular leisure activities. We have taken mankind's passion for the sea, for racing cars, shopping, golfing, and luxurious living, and designed them all into a single unique setting. Yas Island will be the only destination in the world that combines our desert and maritime traditions with the fascinations of Florida and the elegance of Monte Carlo. It will be the world’s most complete leisure destination.
"At ALDAR Properties, our business model is based on strategically integrated residential and leisure developments, with particular emphasis on infrastructure, planning, and environmental protection. With the launch of Yas Island we are inviting the whole world to our land. We are inviting the world to say 'Yas'," he said.
CEO Ronald Barrott elaborated on Yas Island, and its many attractions: "We have been working to create a unique destination that will present Abu Dhabi to the global tourist market. Our intention is to bring together families, friends and individuals seeking options of entertainment, excitement, nature and peace in one location," he said.
Shopping will be one of the key attractions, with retail areas occupying a staggering 300,000 square metres. Ferrari World will be a major highlight, through ALDAR's rights to a Ferrari-themed park, museum and theatre. These attractions are linked to a top quality motor race track on which visitors can experience the thrill of the exclusive Ferrari Driving School (Pilota Ferrari), kart track and dune buggies. They can also test the limits of their own cars under professional instruction.
More peacefully, located on the island will be two major marinas and yachting facilities; resort hotels, lagoon hotels and hotel apartments; a water park, three golf courses, a polo field and equestrian centre, restaurants and cafes, and mixed type residences. Plans are underway to adapt sensitive and beautiful parts of the island into conservation areas. A number of very select individual homes will be made available on the island, at a later stage.
ALDAR said that more details would be announced in due course, but that Yas Island would feature a range of attractions and activities that will appeal to people of all age groups, and retain the interest of every member of a visiting family. The company also expects most people to stay on Yas Island for a minimum of seven days, and all activities – shopping, sports, leisure, recreation and others – are designed around long-stay visitors.
Yas Island, spread over an impressive area of 2,500 hectares, is roughly one third the size of the island of Abu Dhabi, and features a beach front shoreline of approximately 32 kms. Infrastructure will be developed around the Yas Island project in advance and to the operational benefit of the capital city. A new ten-lane highway will connect Yas Island to the new Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, and the city of Abu Dhabi at Mina Port. Yas Island will also connect to ALDAR's signature Al Raha Beach development.
Yas Island is easily accessible by road, air and water. International visitors flying into Abu Dhabi will be able to see the bright glow of the red Ferrari World roof from the air, and can reach Yas Island within minutes of disembarking. Just ten minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and a similar distance from ALDAR’s Al Raha Beach, Yas Island is located at the gateway to Abu Dhabi, and will target the 1.6 billion catchment area located within six hours flying time to the UAE.
ALDAR Properties PJSC is a premier real estate development, management and investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The company was formed as a result of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares. The PJSC was created under Emiri Decree No 808 of 2004. ALDAR Properties PJSC is owned by leading Abu Dhabi institutions, founder shareholders and individual investors.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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