A man-made island in Abu Dhabi, Yas Island epitomises everything that makes this part of the world famous. Fast and furious fun, world-class events, ultra-luxury shopping, and glitz and glamour in spades are the cornerstones of this slice of paradise. At just 25 square kilometres, Yas Island is certainly not big, but there’s no doubt it packs a considerable punch.
This glossy shopping, dining and entertainment hub is one of the newer kids on the United Arab Emirates block, but it’s racked up some impressive achievements in its short life span. Perhaps the most notable is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which the Yas Marina Circuit has hosted since 2009. The marina doesn’t draw only F1 cars, though; it’s not uncommon to see luxury superyachts from around the globe moored here. And for good reason – this is a place where high-end living and topnotch entertainment reign supreme.
The obvious drawcards are Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld, which respectively offer high-octane thrills and spills for kids and adults alike. Ferrari World boasts the world’s fastest roller-coaster and a self-drive Ferrari experience, while Yas Waterworld proudly offers 5 one-of-a-kind attractions among its 43 rides and slides. Prefer to relax? Slow down with a spot of retail therapy at Yas Mall, the biggest shopping complex in Abu Dhabi. Naturally, it offers a world-class retail experience with more than 370 international and regional brands along with dining and entertainment options. Finally, no island experience would be complete without some time in the great outdoors. Play a round of 18 ocean-view holes at the award-winning Yas Links golf course, or kick back and relax on Yas Beach. The only accessible stretch of sand on the island, this tranquil beach on the southern shore is open daily from 10am until 7pm.
Yas Island sits just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, around 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre. It connects to the mainland by a bridge and tunnel, making access easy. Once you’re on Yas Island itself, be sure to make use of the complimentary Yas Express shuttle, which operates daily from 9am until at least 9pm and offers pick-up and drop-off at all major hotels and attractions.