The Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi, billed as the largest indoor theme park in the world, is on track to open next year, the operator says. The theme park, which is part of Aldar's US$40 billion (Dh146.92bn) Yas Island development and will have the world's fastest roller coaster, will play a significant role in Abu Dhabi's plans to raise the number of visitors to the capital.
"It will not open in the first quarter of 2010, but it's going to be 2010," said Nadine Traboulsi, the marketing director of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. "It's still on schedule and nothing has been delayed." Building work on the external structure is about 90 per cent complete, according to Ferrari World. Last month, the interiors contractor Depa in Dubai was awarded a Dh200 million contract to fit out the theme park. Once the building is finished, the operator would need three months for staff training and other preparations before it would be able to open the park to the public, Ms Traboulsi said.
Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi Government investment company, has a 5 per cent stake in Ferrari. Ferrari World will have more than 20 amusement rides including two roller coasters that race each other, and racing car simulators based on those used by Formula One drivers, as well as six restaurants and cafes, and shops selling Ferrari merchandise. The size of the roof is 200,000 square metres. "We believe theme parks will be a popular draw with the domestic and regional markets, encouraging repeat visitation among the important GCC market on our doorstep," said Ahmed Hussein, the deputy director general of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
"At the same time they will provide additional attractions for international visitors who come to stay in Abu Dhabi, and will help us substantially in encouraging stopover visits by the many passengers currently transiting Abu Dhabi International Airport." Ferrari World is one of a number of projects on Yas Island, which is due to host the Formula One Grand Prix from October 30. Other developments on the island will include a Warner Brothers theme park, a Links golf course and a 700-shop mall that will be connected to Ferrari World. Seven hotels are opening in time for the Formula One race.
"Yas Island is a great location for a place like Ferrari World, because it is set to be a tourist destination in itself," Ms Traboulsi added. Troy Lindquist, the director of marketing and sales at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, said the theme park had the capacity to host 10,000 visitors a day, but added Ferrari World would not be releasing projected visitor numbers. The theme park's operators were in the process of looking at a range of options for the pricing structure for tickets, Mr Lindquist said. "We want to provide a great experience and good value for money."