By Shane McGinley
The $165m outdoor water attraction was due for completion in late 2012
Completion of construction on the Yas Water Park has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2013, master developer Aldar Properties said in a project report.
The outdoor water park, billed as a key attraction on the $40bn island development, was due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Aldar gave no reasons for the schedule delay.
Atkins was appointed lead designer for the project in June 2010, but construction work on the water park – led by UAE company ALEC – did not begin until February 20 this year.
The $165m water park, to be built next to Ferrari World, is designed to have 40 rides and attractions, including a rollercoaster and souk area.
The developer said it expects to award a contract soon to begin work on the Yas Island public beach, as part of efforts to shape the project as a leading tourism destination.
Abu Dhabi has spent billions to diversify its economy away from oil, investing heavily in infrastructure in a bid to establish itself as a tourism hub.
Aldar, the city’s largest real-estate developer by market value, received a $5.2bn bailout from the government in the first quarter, but managed to return to profit after the sale of assets including the Ferrari World theme park.
The builder of the Yas Marina Formula One circuit posted a first-quarter net profit of AED189.1m ($51.50m) compared with a loss of AED314.2 min the same period last year.
Aldar also issued planned mandatory convertible bonds of AED2.8bn in March to state-owned investment vehicle Mubadala. The company ended the quarter with AED6.2bn in cash and bank balances.
The CEO of Aldar Properties said in March the developer’s company finances were steady and it would not require a second bailout from the Abu Dhabi government.
“We are in a stable condition, I don't think there will be a need [for financial aid],” Aldar Properties’ CEO Sami Asad said at an event in Abu Dhabi. “Financially, we're quite good.”
In April, Asad said he did not foresee any further impairments on Aldar’s property portfolio in the near future and said the developer would return to profit in 2011.
I attended the THRILLER concert at Yas last week: excellent! But why was it in a temporary theatre building adjacent the Yas hotels? It was a very nice theatre but considering there are tens of thousands of square feet of undercover space under the rood of that Ferrari structure, why not integrate a permanent performance venue there? Come on Aldar management, let's have a reply from you.