Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi
Is relaxing on a beach a bit too slow for you? Are you someone who wants to inject speed and thrills into your holiday to Abu Dhabi? Then head to the Yas Marina Circuit, a must for Formula 1 fans as it's where the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been held every year since 2009. Don't worry if your holiday doesn't coincide with the November event, as you can still enjoy the drama of the circuit, which was the second Grand Prix venue to open in the Middle East, after Bahrain.
Now open to the public, find it on Yas Island, about 30 minutes drive away from Abu Dhabi. It's best to book a two-hour guided tour to see behind the scenes in places usually only enjoyed by racing drivers and their teams. You'll get access to the pit areas, garages and race control room. And you can even stand on the finish line and have your photo taken with a trophy on the podium. Champagne spraying is optional.
You'll discover how the circuit winds through sand dunes and past the marina, with 21 tricky corners to negotiate. An impressed Nico Rosenberg, former Formula 1 racing driver, declared each of them to be unique. You're bound to learn some trivia to impress your friends. For example, there's the nugget that the track - acclaimed by drivers for its excellent grip - is made from material specially shipped from Shropshire. Bruno Senna was the first driver to test the track out.
On your tour, be sure to check out the unusual pit lane exit which runs underneath the track. Look up at Yas Marina Circuit's impressive lighting system, the largest in the world at a permanent sports venue. It's been used in all its Grand Prix's, as floodlights illuminate the day to night races.
While you're on Yas Island, it's just a short journey next door to the nearby theme parks of Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld, for more thrills. At the world's first Ferrari-branded amusement park, dare to experience the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa. You'll be launched with such power that you'll reach 240km/h in just five seconds. Be prepared to wear protective goggles because at top speed the G-Force is up to a face-contorting 4.8! You won't want to miss the other exciting rides like the flight simulator, Turbo Track and Ferrari Driving Experience.
Little ones will love the gentler Tyre Twist teacups ride. You won't be surprised that Ferrari World was named the Middle East's Leading Tourist Attraction for two years' running at the World Travel Awards.
After all the excitement at Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari World, you'll want to cool off. You'll find Yas Waterworld, with 45 rides, slides and attractions, the perfect place for everyone. You can happily splash around all day. If you want to stay on dry land, try the Bandit Bomber, the longest suspended rollercoaster in the Middle East. You can fire lasers at targets as you whizz round and dry to dodge the water jets being fired at you by people below.
More Things To Do ideas