From motorsports to shopping hubs and trendy restaurants, Yas Island is one of Abu Dhabi’s premier tourist destinations. Initiated by Aldar Properties, the aim of the development was to turn the island into a multi-purpose shopping, leisure and entertainment centre. Located just off the main Abu Dhabi and Dubai road, the partially man-made island is a hub of entertainment hotspots. Are you wondering what to do in Yas Island Abu Dhabi? Whether you want to spend some quality time with family or friends, here are some things to do on Yas Island that will be worth the trip.
Yas Island Attractions: Eat, Shop, Repeat
Things to do on Yas Island for Shopaholics: Yas Mall
Featuring around 370 stores, Yas Mall is the star of Abu Dhabi’s shopping scene. Look for the two 12-metre high sculptures. You can’t miss it. Other than a fun park for the mall’s younger visitors and a host of cinemas, here are some activities that you can look forward to:
- Activities for Kids: A great place for things to do on Yas Island for kids, Yas Mall features everything from an edutainment centre to an indoor theme park with adventure rides and video games. Examples include Fun Works, two floors packed with kid-friendly entertainment like a giant soft-play area, toddler playgrounds and rides. Another notable attraction is KidZania, an award-winning edutainment concept that combines learning with fun.
- Shopping: Shopaholics rejoice! As one of the biggest malls in Abu Dhabi, Yas Mall features a range of brands from high-end designer labels to flagship stores. Suitable for everyone from families to fashionistas, products here vary from sporting goods to women’s fashion and even a hypermarket. Notable brands include Victoria’s Secret Pink, DKNY, Adidas, Mothercare, Virgin Megastore and more.
- Restaurants: Yas Mall is also home to some of the best Yas Island restaurants. From fast-food joints to cafes and confectionery stores, you will be spoilt for choice once you get hungry here. From over 22 cafes, notable ones include Café Bateel, Costa Coffee and Gloria Jeans. Restaurants include Al Fanar, Asha’s and Carluccio’s. To indulge your sweet tooth, head to London Dairy, Baskin Robbins or any of the other 11 dessert shops in the mall.
Places to Visit in Yas Island: Outdoor Entertainment
Shopping hubs like Yas Mall are not the only attractions in this island destination. There are several things to do on Yas Island for those who enjoy outdoor activities and entertainment. A host of outdoor activities also make the island a haven for tourists. On that note, here are some outdoor Yas Island tourist attractions worth visiting.
Yas Marina Circuit
Famous for hosting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, held in November each year, a visit to the Yas Marina Circuit shouldn’t be missed. Also featuring the longest F1 racetrack in the world, the place allows visitors to sign up for racing courses and learn how to drive a Formula 3000 or any other race car you have always wanted to but never got the chance. Either that, or you can let the pros take you for an adrenaline-pumping spin around the track while you sit back and enjoy the ride. Here is a general rundown of some activities here:
- Aston Martin GT4 Driving Experience: For $400 (discounted from $500.93), experience the thrill of driving an Aston Martin G4 around a track for 20 minutes. The whole experience is 80 minutes long from training to the driver’s seat.
- Camaro Drag Racing: In this $85 hour-long session, get behind the wheel of a revved-up Chevrolet Camaro and feel the adrenaline rush as the vehicle goes from 0 to 60 mph in seconds. Spots are limited, so we recommend booking activities that interest you in advance. Of course, you can always book tickets to the Formula 1 season finale this year too, for $998.
A great spot to spend sweltering summers in the emirate, Yas Waterworld is why most people visit the island in the first place. Based on the UAE themed “Legend of the Lost Pearl” this Abu Dhabi Yas Island waterpark features more than 40 rides, attractions and slides along with an assortment of dining options. Some of the many family-friendly attractions available here are as follows:
- Tot’s Playground: A playground with a kiddy pool and a minimum height requirement of 150-210 m for entry, this area is ideal for parents and infants to have some fun.
- Jebel Drop: A more extreme ride, this slide has a minimum height requirement of 1.2m and features a heart-stopping drop and scenic views of the entire waterpark.
- Slithery Slides: Easily identifiable by slides designed to look like the open maws of snakes, this ride has a minimum height requirement of 110 meters
Other notable rides here include the Rush Rider where you can hone your surfing skills and Falcon Falaj which also happens to be the longest water coaster anywhere in the Middle East. Keep the following considerations in mind before you plan your visit:
- Price of tickets for kids: AED 210
- Price of tickets for adults: AED 250
- Timings: 10:00 am to 07:00 pm
Ferrari World, Yas Island
A trip to Abu Dhabi’s most popular island isn’t complete without a visit to Ferrari World. A definite option for anyone’s “things to do on Yas Island” bucket list, this theme park is all about motorsports and cars. With over 37 exciting attractions and rides at Ferrari World, suitable for kids and adults alike, here are some of the many:
- Formula Rossa: Strap yourself into the world’s fastest roller coaster. Capable of going from 0 to 240 km/h in 4 seconds, be prepared to experience 4.8Gs of pure adrenaline-pumping action
- RC Challenge: Navigate remote-controlled cars or boats across the waterways of a smaller version of Italy
For younger visitors, there are tamer rides like the Junior Grand Prix which lets kids get behind the wheel. Additionally, you can also get up close to some of the Italian car maker’s most iconic vehicles.
- Single Day Ticket: AED 295
- Annual Pass: AED 990
- VIP Experience: AED 1995
- Timings: 11:00 am to 08:00 pm
Additionally, visitors can even drive a real Ferrari for AED 795 and experience what it’s like training as F1 racers in a simulator for AED 795.
For visitors looking for the best live music venues in the world, there is MAD. Hosting a range of talented artists throughout the week, this nightclub ensures that there is always a good reason to travel to Yas Island. Notable acts include the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, J Balvin, and other global musical talents. Keep checking which acts are making an appearance here on their website and book your tickets in advance.
- Opening hours: Open Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00 pm to 04:00 am.
- Contact: 055-834-6262
Warner Bros. World
Next on our list of notable things to do on Yas Island is Warner Bros. World. A relatively new attraction in the emirate, the theme park is categorised into six themed experiences all of which feature rides that relate to a particular world from the television brand. A celebration of popular cartoons and television shows, a trip here is truly worth the price of tickets. Families visiting with kids will definitely have a grand time sighting popular characters from Tweety Bird to Wile E Coyote and even Batman. For a truly memorable experience, ask one of the photographers on duty to snap a picture with any of the characters. Notable rides here include the following:
- The Flinstones Bedrock River Adventure: A favourite with young fans of the show, take a scenic boat ride in Bedrock accompanied by many pre-historic sights and sounds
- Batman, Knight Flight: Help the caped crusader keep residents safe with a high-octane ride through the skies of Gotham City. Launch from the Batcave and soar through the streets while fighting villains along the way.
Keep in mind, opening hours At Warner Bros. World may differ during Islamic holidays.
- Price of Single-day ticket: AED 295
- Contact: +971-60-0511-115
- Opening hours: 10:00 am to 08:00 pm | 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (Thursday and Friday)
Crystal clear waters, a mangrove and white sands — Yas Beach is more than a stretch of beach; it’s a virtual paradise for beachgoers, especially for watersport enthusiasts, kids and families. Other than a range of dining options and bars, popular activities here include kayaking along the mangroves, snorkeling, and sailing. For drier pursuits, there is a volleyball court and outdoor gym. Of course, if you rather stay the night in a private chalet right by the waterside, there are facilities available in this regard too.
For more information on activities and booking details, refer to the following:
- Contact: +971-0-60-051-1115
Address: Yas Island HQ Building, Abu Dhabi
For a more relaxing way to spend your time on Yas Island, head to the Yas Links Golf Club. Considered one of the top golf courses in the UAE, this place gives professional and amateur golfers the chance to play the sport while enjoying scenic views of the Arabian Gulf coastline. Couple this with a spectacular dining experience, and get ready for a day well spent. Notable perks here include the following:
- Hickory’s Restaurant and Bar: Open from 06:30 am till midnight, the golf club’s eatery offers a 59 Club Breakfast Ala Carte Menu in addition to an assortment of other items.
- Golf Lessons: Improve your game with help from professional trainers and state of the art technologies, available in different pricing packages.
For more information on booking golf games and membership requirements, refer to the following:
- Contact: +971-2-810-7710
Anyone who is a fan of live music concerts must be aware of Du Arena. Capable of accommodating about 35,000 people, Du Arena has seen live performances from popular musical talents from Metallica to Madonna and Justin Timberlake. In addition to hosting live rock and pop concerts, the open-air venue is also popular for corporate functions, gala dinners, charity balls and destination weddings.
- Contact: +971-02-509-8143
Address: Yas Leisure Drive, Yas Island – Abu Dhabi
Dining at Yas Marina
Yas Island isn’t just famous for countless outdoor activities, shopping hotspots, live concert halls and watersports. Visitors to the place also rave about the dining options available. Of the 9 licensed restaurants on Yas Island, the following deserve special mention:
As the name suggests, this eatery specialises in seafood with a menu that is complemented by the freshest catch of the day. Also worth noting are fantastic indoor and outdoor seating options with amazing views of Yas Marina. Famed for its exciting Sushi Sundays, Aquarium also offers alternate meat and vegetable dishes along with shisha and mixed drinks.
- Opening hours: 12:00 pm to 01:30 am | 12:00 pm to 02:00 am (Thursday and Friday)
- Contact: +971-02-565-0007
- Address: Yas Marina, Building 7, ground floor, Yas Island
From Italian cuisine to Japanese delicacies, this stylish restaurant features a menu which includes dishes from Harry’s Bar in Venice as well as other popular Italian classics. These include risotto primavera vanilla crème meringue and baked tagliolini to name a few. Perfect for hanging out with friends or a private corporate dinner, the dining experience here is truly memorable.
- Opening hours: 06:00 pm to 12:00 am
- Contact: +971-02-657-5400
- Address: Yas Marina, Building 1, second floor, Yas Island
Stars ‘N’ Bars
If you enjoy watching sports with your favourite drink in hand, head to Stars ‘N’ Bars. With exciting happy hour deals, mixed drinks and game nights, this bar is always abuzz throughout the week. For eats, expect the best Tex Mex style food this side of Abu Dhabi with an assortment of wings, ribs, burgers, nachos and steaks. Other items on the ala carte menu include delicious mains, kids meals and healthy salads.
- Opening hours: 11:30 am to 02:00 pm
- Contact: +971-02-565-0101
- Address: Yas Marina, Building 2, ground floor, Yas Island
That’s a wrap of our review of things to do on Yas Island. For a more detailed account of what to expect at Yas Island’s waterpark, check out which Yas Waterworld Rides we consider best. Of course, if you plan on making the place your home, you must consider the pros and cons of living on Yas Island first.