x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Get ready to floor it at Ferrari World

The clock is counting down to the opening of the world's fastest roller coaster and more at the new Yas Island tourist destination.

If you've got the need for speed, just wait for Ferrari World. A hundred days before it opens to the public, the new theme park on Yas Island has unveiled its full list of attractions. Set to open on October 28 - two weeks before Yas's second Formula One Grand Prix - the park will offer roller coasters, racing simulators and 3D and 4D shows while promising to channel the ambiance of Italy.

"The opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will revolutionise the way visitors and people in the region spend their leisure time," said Mohammad al Mubarak, chairman of the park's operating company, Farah Leisure Parks Management. "It is a great testament of Abu Dhabi's capacity, and the region's potential, as a world-class tourist destination." The main attraction remains the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, which at speeds up to 240kph will subject riders to forces of 1.7G.

A 20,800-horsepower hydraulic winch system will hoist passengers 52 metres up before dropping them into a sequence of tight turns. Riders will be given protective eyewear to safeguard them from the wind as they travel more than two kilometres in just 90 seconds. It will be the speediest roller coaster anywhere, beating the current record-holder, the Kingda Ka at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure in the United States. That ride, opened in 2005, tops out at 206kph.

Other rides include G-Force, which shoots thrill-seekers up 62m into the air before dropping them back to earth, allowing them to experience the actual G-force of a Ferrari car, and racing simulators similar to those used to train the Scuderia Ferrari drivers. The Fiorano GT Challenge offers mock-up Ferrari F430 Spiders twisting along dual roller coaster tracks in a race to the finish line. Claus Frimand, the park's general manager, said it would be "an enthralling experience that will appeal to all audiences, including families and enthusiasts".

Those looking for a calmer experience will be able to strap in for a virtual aerial voyage over Italy's cities and mountains, in pursuit, naturally enough, of a Ferrari. History buffs, meanwhile, will be offered a short film about the life of Enzo Ferrari, as well as the Made in Maranello ride, a virtual trip behind the walls of the Ferrari factory. For children, there will be a driving school and the opportunity to race in a scaled-down F1 racer. There also will be a waterless car wash, remote-control cars and an F1 car made of foam.

Bell'Italia will be a 6,300-square-metre miniature version of Italy, with its own small-scale Amalfi Coast, Monza racetrack and Colosseum. Even the grass is native to the Italian countryside. "The designers went to great lengths to ensure the authenticity of the representations," said Randy Smith from JRA, master ride designers for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. "For example, rather than building a generic representation of mountains using topographic photographs, they actually visited the Italian Alps to be able to replicate the exact texture of the mountains."

newsdesk@thenational.ae