Yas Bay all set to emerge as jewel in Abu Dhabi’s crown


Yas Bay Arena development update - Oct. 2019 Image: Miral / HOK

Dive into the world of Yas Bay – Abu Dhabi’s new and quintessential waterfront destination on Yas Island. An 18,000-capacity indoor arena, cafes and restaurants where one can fulfill their dining expeditions, a pier, promenade, infinity pool, hotels and even room for a metro – will greet visitors in the near future in Yas Bay.

This is the Dh12 billion mega project in Abu Dhabi – on the southern end of Yas Island – work on which is progressing at a rapid pace. Thousands of construction workers are working by the sweat of brow at the site while scores of cranes dominate the skyline.

Seventy-five per cent of work is complete and Yas Bay Arena – the emirate’s new indoor venue which will hold a special feeling – is scheduled to open next year. The seats and escalators are going in, while the distinctive bronze fins of the façade are starting to go up.

The one million square meter Yas Bay area will encompass a sprawling Hilton hotel, 15,000 residences and the new headquarters of TwoFour54, and the media-free zone that runs from Khalifa Park. There are 35 residential plots, with two sold this year.

Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, maintained, “Our latest construction update highlights the significant progress we have achieved on our pioneering Yas Bay project. The mixed-use development will be a vibrant and iconic addition to Yas Island and a new, exciting destination for Abu Dhabi. With key construction milestones being achieved, we look forward to working with investors and partners from across the world to further develop this unique destination that sets a new benchmark for Yas Island and the UAE.”

“With this investment, we are contributing to the emirate’s vision to diversify the economy and getting closer to positioning Yas Island as one of the top global destinations for entertainment, leisure and business,” added Al Zaabi.

Officials said no hurdles had come up in the construction process irrespective of the economic situation that has seen some projects in Abu Dhabi getting postponed. Officials attribute this to the key role the project plays in diversification.

The highlight of the entire development process is the Yas Bay Arena. Miral officials have pooh-poohed concerns about stiff competition in the form of the newly-opened Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and feels that they hold all the aces in this regard.

“Yes, we may have competition … but we believe the facility we are constructing is absolutely required in Abu Dhabi. There is no other indoor, air-conditioned arena that can cater to 18,000 people,” stated Jonathan Brown, Executive Director for Development at Miral.

Yas Island is the destination which is home to Yas Bay, as well as all the other attractions, such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, the Formula 1 track at Yas Marina Circuit, etc. Officials are putting their best foot forward to keep more tourists on the island and at the same time encouraging more residents to spend life’s precious moments there.

Development work began in 2017 and the Hilton hotel is 60 per cent complete. A new pier area is also coming up with scores of licensed restaurants and cafes. Depending on the transport chiefs’ decision, a metro link may come up and mosques and schools are also a part of the development matrix.

Officials informed that sustainability was high on the agenda when it came to Yas Bay and hinted that the arena could become a “zero plastic” venue. The fins of the façade also reflect the sun, reducing the air-conditioning requirement. To buttress their claim, the officials further informed that the building’s design even won the “sustainable building design of the year” at the Middle East and North Africa Green Building Awards last year.

“We want to be one of the most sustainable arenas in the region and we want to get up to the standard of some in the western market,” remarked Brint Jackson, General Manager of Yas Bay Arena.

“It has its own energy center on site. We are also looking at becoming zero plastic,” he further informed.

Brint Jackson will be a speaker at this year’s Coliseum Summit MENA, to be held on October 30-31, giving an overview on Yas Bay Arena development. Delegates will have the opportunity to tour the new arena (construction site). Miral will also be a part of the conference.

The Hilton which boasts 546 rooms is all set to open next year. “The project looks really awesome. It would cater chiefly to families. You cannot compare here with Dubai – it is a different client. Here is more family and more corporate. So the reason why this will be much more successful than most is because it is family-oriented,” said a confident Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton’s President for Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

He added that the environment factor was uppermost on the mind of Hilton and the group does not give the nod to projects that do not put sustainability at its heart.

“Plastic is a big problem, as are many other things. We have to stop thinking financially and look at what is right for us in the long term,” Jagersbacher further remarked.

For now, Miral’s team of workers is working overtime. Brown is pretty sure that the arena will open its doors next year – “The seats are going in and lots of different works are being carried out in parallel. There really isn’t anywhere else like it in Abu Dhabi.”

Miral, Abu Dhabi’s creator of destinations has announced significant progress in the development of Yas Bay. Already, key milestones have been achieved with the public realm and infrastructure getting completed in 2019 on this avant-garde mixed-use development.

The new arena will add a plume to Abu Dhabi’s beret – destination for entertainment and culture offering, hosting large-scale and private events such as sporting competitions and cultural performances.

Yas Bay also constitutes Residences at Yas Bay, an urban island community boasting strength for 15,000 residents through 35 low-to-mid-rise residential plots, out of which 33 are remaining as two plots were sold earlier in the year. Nineteen recreational parks, three mosques and two schools, are all seamlessly connected to the waterfront.

With Miral’s endeavor to continue to portray Yas Island as ‘The Global Destination’, Yas Bay will prove to be a cherry on the cake and will treat visitors to one-of-a-kind experiences.

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