Abu Dhabi’s $245m Yas Waterworld plots expansion

EXCLUSIVE: Boss of new attraction says it is forecast to be profitable within first year

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Waterworld, due to open to the public on January 24, will be profitable within its first year of operation and is already planning on expansion with two more phases, the park’s general manager told Arabian Business.

The AED900m (US$245m) attraction was developed by government-owned developer Aldar Properties and is managed by Farah Leisure Management, operators of fellow Yas Island attraction Ferrari World.

General Manager Mike Oswald said the park was forecast to attract 700,000 visitors in 2013 and is expected “to be profitable very soon after opening - within year one”.

Oswald also revealed developer Aldar is planning two more phases to the park as part of its AED900m investment, without providing further details.

“In ten to 15 years we will cover the entire AED900m investment as well as two planned expansions. We are planning expansion one in 2016 and other will come a few years after that,” he confirmed.

Tickets to the park will be AED225 for general admission and AED185 for children, and Oswald said all the rides will be fully operational when it opens to the public.

“It's a 100 percent public opening with everything full completed and ready to go. We've been testing for the last two or three weeks so we will be fully open.”

Spread over 15 hectares, the list of attractions includes a wood-raftered souq, the Middle East’s longest suspended roller coaster and the world’s first interactive coaster to incorporate on-board water and laser special effects.

Other family-orientated rides include Slither’s Slides – a maze of six slides and tunnels, including sculptures that spray water, LED light effects which exit through the fanged mouth of a giant snake’s head.

For children, PearlMasters is a treasure-hunt style interactive adventure game, consisting of fire water cannons, puzzles and clues.

Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s entertainment focal point, already includes a Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit and the Ferrari World indoor theme park. Yas Mall, which will have over 450 retail units, is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Last November, developer Aldar Properties said third quarter net profit was AED205m, up from AED143.9m in the year-ago period.

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