It is this time of the year when dear relatives – my brother, my sister in law and their two boys, come to Dubai to visit, obviously because they miss their lovely relatives – or it could be just because they are escaping the brutally cold weather back home to sunny and beautiful Dubai! Either ways, after their first and second visits, I started to run out of ideas on where to take them in Dubai. After all, there is only so much of Kidzania and Global village anyone could do, and driving around in Dubai with kids to go to different places can have a negative impact on your mental health.
After researching the World Wide Web for few minutes, I realized that Yas Island in Abu Dhabi seems like the perfect place to spend some quality time with the kids, without having to drive around! Also it seems to provide a much needed fun for the adults too. So, we have decided to spend 3 days discovering Yas Island. So, let’s the fun begin!
Where to stay?
It was a bit tricky to decide on where to stay on the Island, because of the decent number of top shelf hotels at Yas Plaza; from the awe-inspiring, beautifully built, 5-stars Viceroy Hotel that overlooks the Marina and positioned on the Yas Marina Circuit, to the more budget friendly, yet still offers some magnificent views the Park Inn Abu Dhabi. At the end, we have decided to stay in the Radisson Blu Yas Island, as it provided the right value and balance for us. As my friends previous visit they stayed in Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek and they really loved it.
It took roughly an hour by car to reach to the man-made island from Dubai, after we checked in the hotel and freshened up, we decided not to waste a minute and head straight to Ferrari World!
Dubbed the biggest indoor theme park in the world, Ferrari world attractions revolve around the Italian car brand, however it contains every aspect a self-respecting theme park should have. The main attraction here, and easily the favorite out of the bunch – also, the scariest – is the Formula Rossa! The fastest coaster ride the world. The kids were super excited for this, while my brother and I were fairly nervous, and the ladies kindly refused to take part in this madness. The ride is quite short, however it was tons of fun and such a great experience, my legs felt like jelly afterwards, but it was totally worth it! Although the park sells itself to racers and piston heads, there is actually something for everyone to enjoy.
My Tips here is not to bother much with the fast-track tickets as they are fairly pricy, and in our own experience, the queues were not that long. It is basically what you would expect from a theme park. Also, try and look up some deals on Entertainer or online as this could save you a large sum of money, especially when you are with the family.
After a fun packed day at Ferrari world, the ladies insisted that we check out Yas Mall, as it is now their time to have some fun. Normally, a mall trip for the kids and I is a snore, but it was a bit different this time. Luckily, this massive mall have an entertainment place called Xtreme Zone. It is basically a 2 levels space that contains a bowling alley, 4D theatre, karaoke rooms, laser shooting area and so much more! The kids could spend the whole days running around here without being bored for second, we literally had to drag them out of here to have dinner.
As Ferrari World and Xtreme Zone were not anywhere near enough for the fun greedy kids, we have decided to take them to Yas Waterworld. I have to say, I was a really happy camper at this place. There was a nice mixture of rides for every age, the kids went on to try all the crazy rides classified under “Adrenaline Rush”, which were clearly not meant for us oldies, instead we opt in for more the relaxed rides.
My tips here is to go fairly early in the morning, and to book your tickets online to avoid the queues as this place is much more crowded than Ferrari World. Again, make sure you look up special offers before you go as there are plenty going online that will save a fat stack of cash. Although you can hire lockers and towels at the park, Make sure to bring your own towels, and maybe some water bottles and small snacks.
After 2 days of adrenaline packed affairs, we decide to have a chilled last day at the island before we hit the road back to Dubai, so we decided to go to the beach. Yas beach is a beach club, where visitors need to pay 50 Dirhams per adult, and 25 Dirhams for kids on weekdays, and 100 Dirhams and 50 Dirhams on weekends. This small fees is inclusive of towels and sun loungers, however, because of the limited number of loungers, they are served on a first come first served basis. We arrived at around 11 a.m., so we had no issues grabbing few of them. Also, if you are a guest of one of the hotels at Yas Plaza, you would be entitled for a free entree, which was an unexpected bonus for us!
Now, Yas Beach is not an open beach, but more of an inlet surrounded by green mangroves. The first thing you see when you come in is the white cabanas stretching across the white sandy shores, with music playing and a full-serviced bar and grill.
It was not as quiet as I hoped it would be with many things go on, but it was a really nice place to spend the day out of the family with all the activities and services they provide.
Before we left the island, we thought of having a quick look at the Marina to check out, and sit down for a quick bite. When we arrived we were surprised to know about this local weekly market that is filled with different vendors selling a range of different items like jewelry, fashion items, home accessories and handcrafts. This market happens every Saturday from 1 – 6 pm, and it is lovely walking around after having a meal at the Marina
Our trip to Yas Island was a massive success, and honestly I was surprised of how self-contained this place was. It is such a great place for a family fun day out, or 3 in our case, and I would definitely recommend any one visiting the UAE to check this unique place out.