Ferrari World – Yas Island

This indoor park is inspired by the automobile giant Ferrari (but of course)! It is vast, so better wear comfortable sneakers (even though I saw women tottering around in incredibly high stilettoes – can never understand how!). Over 86,000 square metres, you definitely need a day to do it justice. It was opened to the public in November 2010 and attracts thousands of visitors daily!
There are over 20 rides inspired by Ferrari. Roller coasters, live simulators etc – all there for you to pick. There are rides for kids, for teenagers and oldies who want something more sedate.
The Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster in the world – I got dizzy just watching it from afar. Nothing will persuade me to go on that ride as I’m a big funk, so pay no attention to me! I watched in awe the Turbo Track. It shoots out of the roof at a speed of about 102 km/hour and then goes up 64 feet before dropping back down vertically. Just watching it gave me a near heart attack! But then again, remember I’m a funk! There was a long line of brave adventurous people waiting to experience the ride. The Flying Aces which goes at a 53-degree incline is crazy but obviously very popular!
The Go kart race track is super. Some 12 cars take part and there is a scoreboard which displays your standing. It’s great fun – even I did it, though I didn’t feature in the top 5! Benno’s Great Race is interactive and the special effects are great. There is a junior race course for kids. Drive with the Champion is a must do ride – a motion-based simulator which allows you to experience the thrill of the Fiorano track. The BellÍtalia had a long queue but I went anyway. You get to sit in a Ferrari 250 and explore a mini Italy leisurely. It’s quite relaxing really. The Viaggio in Italy is a multi-sensory simulator that takes you gliding over mountains, villages and vineyards. Very nice.
Do a tour of the Galleria Ferrari – an interactive historical gallery or watch a movie featuring Enzo Ferrari at the Cinema Maranello. There’s loads to do. I tanked up on Pepsi and some gourmet popcorn and then wandered into the hall which had Ferrari exhibits. These exciting cars are such a delight to behold.
The Ferrari Past and Present store is sensational. You can buy caps, tee shirts and other souvenirs. Expensive, but remember this is Ferrari!
If you’re hungry there an excellent Italian Trattoria. Enjoy a leisurely lunch before you venture out on more adventure.
The Yas Water world next door has 43 rides and slides. Great way to spend the day. With rides like the Jebel Drop – ride down a waterslide in a free fall, Sebag – a 6 lane slide, Rush Rider – flowboarding, Falcon’s Falaj – a raft ride, Bandit Bomber – the largest suspended rollercoaster in the Gulf area, Amwaj Wave pool, a special area for tiny tots, Al Waha cabanas – to just relax especially for someone like moi. So many differently themed water slides – some like snakes, twisty ones etc. Numerous snack bars and restaurants dot this park. You can of course pick up fridge magnets and other little curios.
If you time your visit right, you can witness the Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit! Worth thinking about. If you are a runner, do the Zayed Marathon which allows you to run on the circuit.
If you still have energy left, go to the Yas Mall. From Debenhams to Victoria’s Secret to Aerosoles and Armani Jeans – they are all there.
Book your trip there with United World at www.unitedworld.ae. Nobody does it better.

Mavis Mendonca Smith

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