New thrill to open in Abu Dhabi in March

Turbo Track is a very complex piece of engineering and will be the first of three new thrills planned to open at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi this year

  • The new rollercoaster under construction at Ferrari World — Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • Mohammed Abdullah Al Za’abiImage Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi

A new rollercoaster will be opening at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi on March 27, developer Miral announced on Sunday.

“Turbo Track will open on 27th March. The ride’s tack is 180 metres and it will travel at speed of around 102 km/hr. Almost 600 tonnes of steel has been used on this track,” Mohammad Abdullah Al Zaabi, the Miral CEO told Gulf News.

“What I like about Turbo Track is that it’s the first ride [at Ferrari World] where you start inside, then you go all the way through a tunnel, then it takes you outside, it twists, and goes to height of about 62 meters, it will stop there for about two or three seconds with a nice view of Yas Island and the red roof [Ferrari World’s roof] and you come back,” Al Zaabi explained.

Al Zaabi added the ride is designed with both front facing and rear-facing seats to offer guests two unique experiences and it also includes a free fall sensation for riders.

The complexity of the ride’s infrastructure, which travels through a new tunnel and the theme park’s existing glass funnel roof, at one point had the design team and the developer doubt whether it could be built. Al Zaabi said the requirement to put a hole in the fragile funnel space frame structure had the team perplexed.

“Innovation is very important to us. Engineering this tunnel and opening the funnel itself was mission impossible initially,” said Al Zaabi.

Al Zaabi explained that every millimetre of the design had to be carefully calculated and reviewed and after consulting with engineers from around the world they finally reached a solution.

“The engineering is really fabulous. Credit goes to the engineers and the team that worked on this.”

The design team included Intamin Amusement Rides, rollercoaster specialists and creators of Formula Rosso and the Flying Aces, and AECOM, a global architectural and engineering firm.

“If you want to do something unique and deliver a unique experience there is always a challenge. But now we are done and we are very happy”

The other three attractions which are expected to open at the theme park this year include a Ferrari driving simulation planned to open in February, another “one of a kind” thrilling rollercoaster, and lastly an attraction that Al Zaabi said “will go beyond Ferrari World boundaries”, currently planned to open this summer.

“Today I can call it an all new Ferrari World. We had 24 attractions when we first opened the park and we will have 39 attractions by the end of the year, and next year we will have 43 attractions overall.”

Miral have invested around Dh700 million in the theme park’s expansion and 19 new attractions. Next year’s planned additions are mostly attractions for children.

Al Zaabi reiterated Miral’s goal to double the number of visitors to Yas Island from 24 million to 48 million by 2022 as part of Abu Dhabi’s vision to establish the emirate as a global tourism club with unique attractions and world class tourism.

In 2016 Miral announced plans to open a number of mega attractions on Yas Island including CLYMB, which will have the world’s widest indoor skydiving centre set to open in 2018, a Warner Bros theme park which is also planned to open in 2018 and Sea World Abu Dhabi by 2022.

“This is all under the main goal of diversifying Abu Dhabi economy and invest more in the tourism industry.”

Al Zaabi said that although the number of visitors to Yas Island for 2016 was not yet confirmed, early indications suggest that the figure had increased by about nice per cent from the previous year.

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