They don’t do anything small in the United Arab Emirates. A year after hosting its first Formula One race, Abu Dhabi hopes to attract more tourists with ‘Ferrari World,’ billed as the world’s largest indoor theme park and featuring the world’s fastest roller coaster, which travels at speeds of up to 240 kph in less than five seconds.
Due to open Oct. 28th, weeks before this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 200,000 sq. metre Yas Island development will be housed under a roof designed in the style of the classic double-curve body shell of a Ferrari GT car.
"It is an indoor thing with an outdoor feeling," Claus Frimand, the general manager of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi told AFP. "You forget that you are inside a building because the roof is between 35 and 50 metres above you and there are no support structures, except the funnel in the middle and one row of columns."
Among the 20 attractions at the theme park are two roller coasters, including the F1-themed Formula Rossa. "It gives you the feel of driving in a F1 car very close to the ground," said park manager Andy Keeling. The second of the roller coasters, which stretch beyond the building’s perimeter, features two tracks with Ferrari-shaped trains.
"The unique feature is that it has two tracks, two trains side by side, and depending on the weight of the passengers, one will cross the finish line first," said Frimand.
Right in the centre of the building, out of a big funnel which is the only area with daylight, visitors can experience the space-shot G-force Tower. "That is the highest we could build on the island," said Frimand. "We can shoot people up through the roof where they can look over the whole island. It gives you the G-force that the drivers are experiencing during the race," he added.
Elsewhere, a Ferrari California Spyder convertible takes visitors through Bell’Italia, a reproduction of the Italian countryside with model villages and tourist highlights like the lagoon of Venice, the Colosseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. A large replica of the Maranello factory demonstrates the manufacturing process from the design stage to the finished product.