Yas Island Development, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Yas Island Development, Abu Dhabi

Yas Island is a leisure and entertainment district being developed in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Aldar Properties is the developer of the $40bn artificial island project. It is expected to attract 300,000 visitors a day.

Yas Island's development was announced in 2006 and it was first opened to public in November 2009. It won the Leading Tourism Project from the World Travel Awards, in the same year.

Yas Island leisure and entertainment district master plan and attractions

"The first phase of the project was opened to host the first F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2009. It involved completion of the 5.5km Yas Marina Circuit."

Master plan of the 2,500ha leisure island was designed by Benoy. It has a beach front shoreline of about 32km. The island is strategically located in proximity to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

It is connected to the mainland through the 1.1km Yas Tunnel road and highways. The master plan includes several tourist attractions, business hubs and entertainment venues.

Yas Island is being developed in three phases with complete essential utilities and infrastructure. The entire development is scheduled for completion in 2018.

The first phase of the project was opened to host the first F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2009. It involved completion of the 5.5km Yas Marina Circuit, seven hotels and Yas Links Golf Course.

Associated infrastructure of the island project includes roads, water, vacuum solid waste disposal, district cooling, power and irrigation systems. It has a 91 million litre capacity underground tank to store drinking water.

A 400m long public beach with 150 parking spaces was completed near the Yas Plaza, in September 2011. The remaining two phases will include 110,000 residential buildings, Yas Mall, polo clubs, the Warner Bros. Movie World, Yas Island Water Park and 20 hotels.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Hotel and Yas Mall details

The 86,000m² Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the world's largest indoor theme park. The 50m high, red octopus shaped roof of the park required 12,370t of steel for the creation of its 2,200m perimeter. Benoy designed the 200,000m² roof, which also features a 65m X 48.5m Ferrari logo and a glazed funnel. Ramboll was the structural and façade consultant. Construction of the park was completed between November 2008 and November 20010, and was officially inaugurated in December 2010.

A new 15ha water park is being developed adjacent to the Ferrari World. The 150,000m² water park will feature 43 rides and slides based on the story 'The Lost Pearl'. The AED604m ($165m) project is expected to be completed by January 2013.


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The 500-room, 85,000m² Yas Marina Hotel consists of two, 12-storey curvilinear towers connected by a sculpted-steel monocoque bridge and a 217m canopy. The bridge passes over the Grand Prix F1 racing track. Its façade is made of steel grid-shells and 5,800 diamond-shaped glass panels, with about 5,000 RGBW LED fixtures which were installed by Arup Lighting. It was opened in November 2009.

Six other hotels surrounding the central Yas Hotel Plaza have 1,800 rooms in all. Aldar will manage them under the brands, such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Rotana and Rezidor.

The 360,000m² Yas Mall will have 230,000m² of lease space for 400 retail stores, plus 240,000m² of parking space for 12,000 cars. It will also have cinemas, restaurants, entertainment centres, food courts and a 16,000m² Géant Hypermarket. The retail complex will open in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Yas Mall is expected to achieve Estidama Two Pearl rating for sustainability.

A master plan for a new waterfront community on the island was approved by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council in February 2012. The 680ha of development will include a series of unique residential communities to accommodate 55,000 inhabitants.

Prize-winning design of the 'Best Urban Design and Masterplanning Project'

Designed by Broadway Malyan, it won the 'Best Urban Design and Masterplanning Project' at the Abu Dhabi Cityscape Awards 2011. It is expected to have several open spaces, sport, educational and health centres, commercial components, transportation facilities, roads and pedestrian access connecting the developments.

Architects and contractors involved with the UAE's Yas Island

The 5.5km Yas Marina Circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was designed by German architect Herman Tilke.

"Yas Island's development was announced in 2006 and it was first opened to public in November 2009. It won the Leading Tourism Project from the World Travel Awards."

The hotel was designed by Asymptote Architecture and built by Al Futtaim Carillion. Dewan Architects & Engineers and Arup were the structural engineers, Schlaich Bergermann und Partner (SBP), Front and TAW & Partner were the façade consultants. The hotel was opened in November 2009.

The Yas Waterworld Aqua Park, designed by Atkins, is based on traditional Emirati culture and heritage.

Halcrow was the main consultant for race track and marine infrastructure. The golf course was designed by Kyle Phillips Golf Course Design. Zabeel Investments was its builder along with the Golf Links Club House. The $53m, 12,000m² club house was designed by GHD Global and Simon J Black Interior Design. The two marinas, capable of accommodating about 160 yachts of up to 66m long, were constructed by Dredging International. Camper & Nicholsons Marina manages them.

The Yas Mall complex was designed by RTKL International. In October 2011, Six Construct, a subsidiary of the Bexix Group, was awarded the contract to build the Yas Mall. The company was previously involved in the Ferrari theme park, marinas access and other infrastructure projects. KBR is acting as the project management consultant. Alec is building the water park and it will be operated by Farah Leisure Parks Management.

Metito was the contractor of sewage treatment works. The plant has three streams with membrane bioreactor process which treat 19,000 cubic metres per day each, which is used for irrigation.