By Damian Reilly
EXCLUSIVE: Abu Dhabi theme park will boast world's fastest roller coaster.
Ferrari World – the Abu Dhabi theme park which will open on October 28 – is the “ultimate brand extension,” Claus Frimand, UAE General Manager of operating company Farah Leisure, said in an interview.
He told Arabian Business: “We have all these fans that are crazy about the brand, so let’s do something for them. They launched the Ferrari stores, where you see branded shorts, caps, T-shirts, watches, memorabilia… They are in London, Milan, there are several in the Middle East and they have been very, very successful. Ferrari has done co-branded consumer products, computers, bicycles, mobile phones; and then you can say we are the ultimate brand extension.”
Talking for the first time about the rides visitors to the park can expect to enjoy, Frimand said Ferrari World – which is part of a multi-billion dollar project to make the emirate’s Yas Island a global theme park centre – would boast the world’s fastest roller coaster.
“The Formula Rossa Coaster is the fastest coaster in the world, easily. It goes 0-100kph in four seconds, by the end of the first 200m stretch you have reached 240kph and then you shoot up 52m, and then two big figure of eights to slow down,” Frimand said.
“You are launched with similar technology to what they have on an aircraft carrier, using 40,000 litres of hydraulic fluid. You will experience G-forces of four to 4.5, very similar to what drivers can experience. The ride lasts a minute and a half,” he added.
Frimand said other attractions would include a ride which transported visitors through a virtual combustion engine before jettisoning them through an exhaust pipe, and one called the “Speed of Magic” during which participants would experience the thrill of chasing a thief who had stolen the family Ferrari keys.
He said another ride would drop paying customers 52m.
“We have the drop tower, where you are lifted up 52m. We can programme it so you either freefall all the way down, or we programme it so you freefall half way down and then you’re lifted and then you fall again. That is called the G-Force,” he said.
The theme park would also feature more gentle, family-friendly rides, he added.
Frimand would give no targets relating to visitor numbers, nor the date by which he expected the project, which could cater for up to 10,000 visitors at a time, to break even.
He said entry price would be “comparable” to other UAE theme parks such as Wild Wadi and Atlantis in Dubai, which cost approximately AED200. He said for that price visitors could use as many rides as they liked.