By Gavin Gibbon
Destination is already home to Ferrari World and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral Asset Management, has refused to rule out adding further theme parks to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.
Miral was set up in 2011 to manage and develop a collection of government assets in Abu Dhabi – including Yas Island.
The destination is already home to Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros World, which opened last year as well as Clymb, an indoor adventure hub that boasts the world's tallest climbing wall at 43 metres and, at ten metres, the widest wind tunnel.
Al Zaabi said: “Our next attraction will be Sea World. We’re at a very advanced stage of design and we are on track to finish the construction by 2022.”
He added that all the theme parks are making money. “We are very happy. All our theme parks are profitable and that has always been the case,” he said.
However, he wouldn’t be drawn on whether further theme parks would be added to the destination, which is currently 55 percent developed.
This includes through the addition of two new hotels to Yas Island, a 550-room Hilton hotel, which is currently 85 percent complete and is due to open its doors this year, and the first Warner Bros Hotel in the world, boasting 250 rooms, which is 40 percent complete and scheduled to open in 2021.
“It will be home for Bugs Bunny and Superheroes. Our customers will have the chance to meet and dine with the Warner Bros characters as well as enjoy staying in the themed first Warner Bros Hotel,” said Al Zaabi.
He also revealed plans were in place for more hotels. “We’re very much focused on the entertainment and tourism sectors, that’s our focus and it will always be our focus. We did a study in 2015 and we decided to add 800 more rooms, that’s 550 in Hilton and 250 rooms in Warner Bros Hotel.
“Actually, when we announced the plan in 2015 we said we need 1,500 rooms, so still more to come. That is to cater for the current and future demand for our theme parks and entertainment sector.”
Meanwhile, Al Zaabi said plans to install Skytran technology - an elevated rail system - on the island are still at a very early stage.
Miral signed an agreement in 2016 with Skytran to explore introducing the suspended transportation system on Yas Island. The memorandum of understanding launched the study and implementation of Skytran.
The initial phase of the system, which will connect Ferrari World Abu Dhabi with Warner Brothers was reportedly scheduled to be launched this year.
Al Zaabi said: “It’s still at an interesting stage in the US. Once they have done with that, then we will take the next step and study more from a business point of view and a maintenance point of view.
“It’s still under testing and commissioning in the US.”For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.