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Mon 1 Oct 2007 12:06 PM

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Ferrari revs up entertainment city plans

Sports car giant teams with Abu Dhabi's Aldar to build Ferrari themed complex on Yas Island.

Ferrari and Aldar Properties have signed an exclusive co-operation agreement to build an entertainment city at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's official news agency WAM reported Sunday.

Aldar, Abu Dhabi's largest real estate company, will work with the luxury car manufacturer to develop Ferrari Entertainment City, a 500-hectare project which will include construction of a race course to host Formula One races, hotels, shopping malls and entertainment facilities,

"Ferrari City at Yas Island in the Abu Dhabi emirate will be the first of its kind in the world," Luca Di Montezemolo, Ferrari's chief executive, was quoted as saying by WAM.

"It will have great impact on tourism, sports and entertainment at the GCC countries and the Middle East."

Aldar is currently developing Yas Island, one of the largest natural islands in Abu Dhabi, at a cost of $40 billion, with future attractions including the hosting of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from 2009 onwards.

Di Montezemolo also said the partnership would lead to the setting up of experimental zones for normal and race vehicles, training of professional drivers and marketing of Ferrari trademarks.

Aldar, which includes state-owned Mubadala Development as one of its principal shareholders, has recently announced it has begun work on the city, WAM said. Mubadala currently owns 5% of Ferrari.

"The partnership will make Abu Dhabi especial hub for visitors and boosts the existing relations between the two brand names-Ferrari and Al Dar property," said Ronald Barrot, CEO of Aldar Properties.

The chief executives of both companies signed an agreement at the Bahrain Grand Prix in April this year to begin begin construction on the entertainment complex, which is to be completed in 2009.

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