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Yas Island

Yas Island is a 25 square km man made island in Abu Dhabi initiated in 2006 by Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties with the aim of turning the island into a multi-purpose leisure, shopping and entertainment centre. It is here, we visited two of its main attractions - Ferrari World and the Formula-1 Grand Prix circuit, each being the most expensive (£40) and among the least expensive (free) activities of the trip respectively. Another attraction worth mentioning on Yas Island is Yas Waterworld, which ranks as one of the best waterparks in the world. Alas, we did not have the time to go there and ride the largest surf-able sheet wave surf in the world. In any instance, I am non-aquatic by nature.
The cost of the Ferrari World entrance seemed justified in the sense that we had no problem spending a good 8 hours there, taking in most of the attractions. This themed amusement park is situated under a 200,000 sq m roof, making it the largest indoor amusement park in the world. Among the attractions visited including Fiorano GT Challenge (a rollercoaster where dual cars race side by side), various mechanical/visual rides and a live acrobatics show, the highlight to me was going on Formula Rossa...
Formula Rossa is a launched rollercoaster and is the World's fastest with a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph). The coaster train accelerates from zero to its top speed in 4.6 seconds using a hydraulic launch system which generates a release velocity similar to that of aircraft carrier steam catapults. Safety spectacles have to be worn as a mere fly in the air on facial impact can cause some serious damage. The sheer force my body was put under on this particular ride and the subsequent 2.2 km of bafflement as to what the [expletive] had just happened came with the realisation that it was just not right. It is possible my spleen now resides a couple of mm in my body from where it used to be.
The prices of food in Ferrari World seemed way too much, although it is worth noting that after entering on any given day, you may get your hand stamped, exit through the obligatory souvenir shop and wander out and back in again at your leisure. Also, later on in the evening, queue times for the rides seemed to go from up to 40 minutes to little or in some cases zero waiting time.
We returned to Yas Island one evening to visit our second main attraction, The Yas Marina Circuit. It is the venue for the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix. Yas Marina is the second F1 track in the Middle East after Bahrain. It is the only motorsports venue in the world that offers covered and shaded grandstands throughout the facility, coupled with unique pit lanes that run partially beneath the track. There is a hotel (Yas Viceroy) which is built over the circuit. We found the best way to view the whole area was to simply walk around it. Because it was evening and the temperature outside was cooling down, the conditions were perfect. Parking is free as was the entry and the only requirement is to register, give your emergency contact details, put on a wristband and you're good to go. Walkers and joggers go around the circuit in one direction on the side of the track. Cyclists go on the track in the opposite direction. The full circuit length is 5.554 km and my lap time was approx. 1hr 20min (including multiple photo and water stops). The wonderful thing about it was that free bottles of chilled water were readily available at points around the circuit. It was certainly popular with locals and ex-pats alike all apparently practicing as part of their daily exercise regime. As dark fell, the floodlights came on and the atmosphere was livened up by popular music blasting from the sound systems. Alas, there was no time for a second lap.