5 reasons Yas Island should be your next short break
Yas Island in Abu Dhabi has undergone one of the most spectacular landscape transformations the world has ever seen -- and it's been done with a style and grandeur that's rarely seen outside of the UAE. Just over a decade ago, this small desert island was built up from bare red sands to an entertainment hub that'd give any destination a run for its money.
Now home to the world's fastest rollercoaster, the world's best waterpark and a top-rated links golf course -- as well as its own beach, a marina and the largest mall in the capital -- it's fast racked up the reasons why it should be your next short-break destination. Here are our favourites…
1. There's a brand-new Warner Bros. theme park
One of the most exciting new openings in the Middle East of 2018 was Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and it hasn't disappointed. The construction cost more than a billion US dollars, and it's easy to see where the money went. It has six indoor climate-controlled lands to explore, each firmly planting you in the world of your favourite childhood characters.
You can ride in Batman's Batmobile in Gotham City, adventure along a river with The Flintstones in Bedrock or join the Justice League for an epic battle against some of DC's greatest villains in Metropolis.
2. You can have all kinds of aqua-adventure
The UAE is the home of world-firsts and world's-largests, but Yas Island has topped the rankings by taking home the World's Leading Water Park trophy at the 2018 World Travel Awards. And with long days and high temperatures, the cool waters of Yas Waterworld, which has 40 exhilarating rides, slides and attractions covering all thrill levels, will come as a welcome respite.
If adrenaline rushes aren't your bag, you can always head to the white sands of Yas Beach, and take a dip in the clear turquoise waters that feed in from the Persian Gulf. It's also surrounded by lush swathes of mangrove forest, which you can discover on a kayaking trip, or take it one step further and rent a jetski to explore more of the island's coastline.
3. It's a motorsports paradise
There's one area in which Yas Island is known around the globe, and that's in the world of motorsports. When the Yas Marina Circuit opened a decade ago, it was one of the most magnificent in the Grand Prix calendar, with a winding 21-corner track, grandstand seating for over 41,000 spectators and a dedicated marina for post-race superyacht parties.
Best of all, it's not just for the pros. On non-racedays, the track is open to the public for a range of experiences -- you can choose your dream car from a stellar line-up, including Ferrari 458s, Aston Martin GT4s and Yas's own F1 cars with V6 Jag engines, and then hit the track for an adrenaline rush you're unlikely to ever forget.
Want to go faster? Believe it or not, that's not a problem. Just next to the circuit is Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, one of the world's largest indoor theme parks, which is home to 37 rides and attractions, including the world's fastest rollercoaster. The Formula Rossa reaches nearly 5Gs as it takes you from 0-60 in just two seconds, and tops out at 149 miles per hour in five seconds.
4. Tee off with views across the Arabian Gulf
Yas Links occupies a 2-mile stretch of land along a glistening waterway that leads into the sea. The undulating 18-holer is designed in the long tradition of links courses, dotted with over 100 bunkers to test the skills of even the most seasoned pros.
The course quality and its location, just off a string of lush mangroves, means it's one of the best courses in the world, and it has the plaudits to prove it. Golf Digest includes it in its top 50 courses in the world, the Top 100 Golf Courses website rates it as the best in the Middle East, while CNN Travel ranks it the third best in its world's top city golf clubs list.
5. Yas Island is easy to reach and get around
There are more flight options to Abu Dhabi than ever, with daily direct flights from across the UK, and it's around a 7-hour service from London. From the airport, it's only around a 15-minute taxi ride to get to Yas Island, and once you're there, getting around couldn't be easier (or cheaper). The free Yas Express shuttle buses follow various routes around the island and connect all of its main attractions. Just hop on, and you can be on the other side of the island in a matter of minutes.
From Yas Island, you can simply jump in a taxi to see the sights of Abu Dhabi’s city centre. You can be at the Louvre Abu Dhabi -- an "Arabic-galactic wonder" (The New York Times) -- or the impressive white marble Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque within 20 minutes.
Ready to go? Check out our top Abu Dhabi and Yas Island offers below, which all include tickets to Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi…