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Fri 30 Nov 2018 01:29 AM

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10 years on: Yas Island's impact on UAE tourism

Transformation from a desert island into a world-class destination is a key part of Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030

10 years on: Yas Island's impact on UAE tourism
Only 40 percent of Yas Island's 25 sq km area is currently used despite its extensive transformation.

Abu Dhabi’s leading leisure and entertainment destination, Yas Island, celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

Yas Island’s transformation from a desert island into a world-class destination for families is a key part of Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030.

Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Miral, said: “We’re celebrating ten years of Yas Island and it’s been a legendary journey. We’ve seen our desert dream for Yas Island spring into life: it is a one-of-a-kind destination that is home to many unique immersive attractions and world firsts.

"We stand proud as we reflect on this progress and look forward to the future: more innovation, more firsts and more iconic projects and experiences that will establish Yas Island as a truly global destination for entertainment, leisure and business.”

Al Mubarak said that just 12 years ago, the island was a blank canvas upon which the vision and dream of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces would be imprinted.

“His Highness’s vision was to create an exceptional quality of life that could be enjoyed by citizens and visitors alike. His idea was to transform one destination - Yas Island - into a vibrant place of experiences for shopping, sports, theme parks, events, music as well as world-class residential living and businesses," he said.

He added: "Inspired by this wonderful vision, we created the Yas Island of today; a destination that entertains, thrills, excites and unites families with its diverse attractions. We made a dream come true.”

In 2010, Yas Island became home to world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and expanded three years later to include Yas Waterworld. This year, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi opened its doors as the world’s first indoor Warner Bros themed park, a $1 billion mega project developed by Miral.

Today’s Yas Island also includes Yas Mall, Yas Links, Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Beach, which overlooks the island’s mangroves but only 40 percent of its 25 sq km area is currently used.

Miral said it is shaping the development strategy for Yas Island which seeks to position the island as a top global destination for leisure and entertainment, focusing on attracting families and expanding the number of visits from 27 million now to 48 million by 2022.

Upcoming projects include CLYMB, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, and Yas Bay, a mixed-purpose project which will transform the south of Yas Island into a public waterfront and entertainment district with residences, business and a media hub.

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