Revved up for Opening, Aldar shows Yas Island at ATM

While in the final stages of developing The Ferrari branded theme park, there was much anticipation to meet the inaugural Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix deadline. Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's leading property development, management and Investment Company was in the driver’s seat to make it happen.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is just one of the development features from Yas Island's unique attractions. Family amusement, featuring multi-format high tech theatres, and a variety of sophisticated driving schools are among the other choice attractions featured that compliment the Ferrari automotive displays and of mega entertainment Island.

Through the efforts of Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based airline and sponsor of the inaugural Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, showcasing of Etihad and Abu Dhabi to a global audience of more than 600 million people was realized. Etihad was named ‘World’s Leading Airline’ and won ‘World’s Leading First Class’ at the 2009 World Travel Awards. They also picked up the award in the 'International Sponsorship' category for the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at a gala ceremony December 09 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, said: "Recognized as one of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events in the world, courted by leading companies and countries alike, the Abu Dhabi F1 weekend provided unprecedented presence, visibility and credibility for a new airline brand launched only six years ago."

Etihad's sponsorship strategy included raising global awareness of the airline and its brand, securing additional passenger revenues, building better relationships with new and existing corporate clients, and helping to showcase Abu Dhabi to the rest of the world. They used a combination of internal and external communication channels to activate the sponsorship, engaging six distinct audiences - Etihad's customers, its staff, the travel industry, the general public, media and rights holders - and resulting in an impressive return on investment.

Through Aldar's commitment to creating sustainable and fully integrated developments, details of two infrastructure systems in use at Yas Island were revealed. The Island is the first major commercial development in Abu Dhabi to feature both a natural gas distribution and transmission network and a vacuum waste handling system.

Yas Island's new natural gas network consists of an intricate 28km network of polyethylene and steel pipelines with a future capacity in excess of 60,000 m3/hr to cater for all current and future developments on Yas Island.

The clean burning and environmentally friendly natural gas is used to supply energy for cooking and hot water. The Envac system installed on Yas Island is the first vacuum waste handling system in the world to service a major motorsports circuit. The system can handle up to 30 tonnes of waste per day deposited at any one of the 36 inlet points currently located within the Yas Marina Circuit paddock, Yas Marina and the seven hotels. As with the gas network, the Envac system has been designed to cater for all future phases of the Yas Island project.

Aligning with leading internationally recognized hospitality brands is part of Aldar's strategy to bring high quality investment opportunities to their developments. Signing an exclusive agreement with one of Asia's largest, premier international hospitality providers Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces refines their success strategy. The first hotel to be developed by Aldar Hotels and Hospitality under the agreement is a five-star, 500 room luxury resort hotel which will be in a spectacular waterfront location on Yas Island. The hotel will be branded as a 'Taj Palace' Hotel on the lines of the elegant, original palace hotels of the Taj and will have facilities and services to match the exceptional location. A welcome addition to the refined experiences complementing events on this luxury playground.

Raymond Bickson, Managing Director & CEO, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces commented, "Today, the UAE, forms part of a strategic group of countries in the Gulf region. Leisure and hospitality in this region is growing exponentially and it is important for the Taj Hotels to be present in this region, which is rapidly morphing into a tourism hub of the future."

With the track still smoking after the successful inauguration of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and leaping forward in Abu Dhabi's motor sport ambitions, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has announced that a new international motorsport event - Rally Abu Dhabi - will debut in the emirate next year as a World Rally Championship (WRC) candidature event. The aim is to become an official WRC event in 2011 subject to the inaugural rally's success. The announcement follows the registration of Rally Abu Dhabi as a WRC candidate event on the 2010 FIA international calendar. The bid has been initiated and sponsored by ADTA, and officially tabled by the Automobile Touring Club UAE (ATCUAE), the UAE's national sporting authority on motorsports.

Although the specific dates for Rally Abu Dhabi 2010 will only be confirmed in March, ADTA has already solicited strong domestic and international support to ensure the event's successful staging. The WRC and International Sportworld Communicators (ISC), global promoter of the WRC, have pledged to support Rally Abu Dhabi with their experience and expertise.

With luxury hotels, beautiful water front features and beaches, a 250,000 sq. meter retail mall, commercial offices, spas, and residences; YAS Island is set to become a unique international tourist and luxury leisure destination.