• Nov 5, 2007
It's a testament to car culture in general that an automaker believes it can build a theme park based on its brand and that people will come. Ferrari is one of the few names with enough draw to make such a venture work, and Abu Dhabi is perhaps the only place in the world with enough real estate and wealthy patrons to keep it running. Hence the Ferrari theme park, which we've spoken of at length in years past, has laid the first brick of construction on the 2,500-acre Yas Island it will call home. Yesterday a "Foundation Stone Ceremony" was held on the site where a time capsule was buried containing a connecting rod and piston from the 2007 F1 World Champion Ferrari car, as well as the first rendering of the theme park that was commissioned.

For those who think Ferrari merely sold its brand to a construction company that will paint some old Disney rides Rossa Red, consider that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was on hand at the ceremony yesterday to press the flesh with fellow investors. Aside from being a theme park with various sorts of Ferrari-themed entertainment to enjoy (we call front car on the Enzo Coaster!), the facility will have its very own circuit built right in its center that will host driving schools, as well as the first Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix in 2009.

Thanks for the tip, Marc!

[Source: Ferrari]



PRESS RELEASE:

FOUNDATION STONE CEREMONY CELEBRATES CONSTRUCTION START FOR WORLD'S FIRST FERRARI THEME PARK IN ABU DHABI

Yas Island - Abu Dhabi, November 3rd, 2007 – A Foundation Stone Ceremony was held today in Abu Dhabi to officially signify the start of construction of one of the most multi-dimensional and highly anticipated themed entertainment attractions in the world, the Ferrari Theme Park.

Officials and special guests in attendance for today's event included Ferrari's President Luca di Montezemolo and Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman, ALDAR Properties, as well as invited guests representing media, government and business organisations from around the world.

During the Foundation Stone Ceremony a special time capsule was buried, containing a Conrod and Piston of the F2007, the F1 World Champion Ferrari car, together with the first artist's impression of the Ferrari Theme Park on Yas Island. The capsule will be then opened again at Ferrari's 100th anniversary, in 2047.

"This is a very special year for Ferrari" – Mr. Montezemolo said. "Together with the extraordinary commercial success of our GT cars, it brought to Maranello the F1 Constructors' World Championship and the F1 Drivers' World Championship with Kimi Raikkonen, and I am particularly proud to be present to mark the symbolic start of this great project. Moreover, 2007 is the year of Ferrari's 60th anniversary, and this Ceremony has therefore a further, important meaning."

Part of a joint project between Italian automotive manufacturer Ferrari and ALDAR properties PJSC, the 250,000 sqm park (80,000 of them covered) will be a unique oasis of discovery, hospitality and beauty that captures culture, flavour and the true spirit of Italian country, as well as the legendary automotive history, feeling and heritage of Ferrari cars and racing.

"Today is a celebration of the first step along the way to making the world's first Ferrari theme park a reality, with the laying of the foundation stone," – commented Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman, ALDAR Properties. "An incredible amount of real estate growth is taking place in Abu Dhabi, and it is our responsibility to deliver projects of the highest quality, while protecting the natural, social and cultural assets of the Emirate. I am confident that the blend between the power and beauty of one of the world's leading brands, Ferrari with ALDAR's expertise in development and regional knowledge, will combine to create a destination that resonates with sports lovers around the world."

When completed in 2009, the attraction will provide amusement for the whole family, featuring multi-format high tech theatres, a variety of sophisticated driving schools (for both children and adults), Ferrari automotive displays and participatory learning centres as well as food and entertainment.

Among the 24 attractions, the Park will offer a mix of high-octane and family rides with roller coasters jetting into the sky and dipping through the covered areas. At the heart of the park will be an advanced and sophisticated circuit offering driving courses, which will be the home of the first Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix in 2009.

After the Foundation Stone event at Yas Island, a brand new Ferrari Store will have its official grand opening in Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall. Ferrari's President Luca di Montezemolo, Commercial and Brand Director Dany Bahar, Abdullah Abdel Rahim Al Fahim, Chairman of Al Fahim Enterprises and Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of ALDAR Properties will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Ferrari in the U.A.E.
U.A.E. (which includes Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other five Emirates) is one of the nine countries covered by Ferrari's Middle East & Africa Region. Ferrari entered the U.A.E. in 1987 appointing as exclusive importer and distributor Al Tayer Motors LLC, a parent company of Al Tayer Group. In 2006, the Region counted 248 cars delivered, for a 125 increase over 2005. In 2006 Al Tayer Motors in U.A.E achieved 68 Ferrari retail sales.

One of the biggest Ferrari Sales and After Sales Centre worldwide opened this September in Umm Al Naar - Abu Dhabi: 1,700 smq comprising a 870 smq showroom, lounge, dealer selection area, aftersales, spare parts and mezzanine floor for pre-owned car sales. Another Ferrari showroom in the U.A.E. is the 3S Centre in Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (opened in 2005).

After the successful start of « Ferrari 60 Relay » worldwide tour in Abu Dhabi last January 28th and the Foundation Stone event at the Ferrari Park, which took place this morning in Yas Island, further major events in the area include the grand opening of two new showrooms: in Muscat - Sultanate of Oman (December 9th) and in Beirut – Lebanon (December 14th). On both occasions there will be the unveil of the new Ferrari 430 Scuderia to press and customers.

About ALDAR Properties PJSC
ALDAR Properties PJSC is a leading property development company, with strong investment and management capabilities. ALDAR was established primarily to create world-class real estate developments for the nation of Abu Dhabi, whilst providing a stable and profitable investment portfolio for all our investors.

We are dedicated to achieving new standards of innovation, excellence and value in urban design and sustainable development. Our priority is the immediate and future benefit of Abu Dhabi and its residents.

The company is owned by leading Abu Dhabi institutions, founder shareholders and over 20,616 investors throughout the U.A.E. ALDAR's principle corporate shareholders include: Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi Investment Company, Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company, National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels and National Investor.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am going reserve judgement unitl those man-made islands endure or not endure a good shaking from an earthquake. We all know that it's bound to happen sooner or later.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I couldn't care less about Ferrari or it's park.
      And I won't come. LOL
      • 7 Years Ago
      Alex are you serious? Yeah I know those countries have a Queen, but she is a paper Queen, she does not rule a county. UAE have a king who is a king……..a real king. The country is a playground for the royal family, literally and figuratively.

      Also check out their human rights record.
        • 7 Years Ago
        raz,
        you ALMOST had a point, but your ignorance/racism discredited you.

        like any other country with a Westernized mindset, the only thing the UAE is guaranteed to associate itself with is $$$. Just because they do business with the US sure as hell doesn't mean they like us. I have a friend from UAE and he talks about how a lot of people there (including their parlaiment, I'm sure) do not approve of the US and its policies. However, they're not gonna bite the hand that feeds them and shun good ol' US money.

        The country's money will inherently fund some jihadist groups (whether directly or indirectly, who knows)
        because a lot of these jihadists generate money for the country as well.
        THe point is, the world speaks money, and some money will be for US, some money will be against US. I dont think the parlaiment cares. US does the same thing right back so it's not right to only blame the UAE for wars/ racial tensions
        • 7 Years Ago
        What, did you Wikipedia "UAE" to look for something bad to say about them? You just need to think before you say some ignorant comment, I hope you are still going to school because you have a lot to learn.
        • 7 Years Ago
        raz,
        I'm not sure where you're getting your "facts". The UAE does NOT have a King, it has an elected President. The UAE is made up of a Federation of 7 seperate states, or Emirates. Hence, United Arab Emirates. The emirates themselves might be ruled by monarchs, but the UAE is not.

        Besides, have you ever actually been there, or anywhere else in the Middle East? Dubai is actually fairly western and is a pleasant place to visit, provided you go in the winter months.

        As an American who has visited 12% of the Earth, I can honestly say the the most vocal anti-foreign, bigoted, racist loudmouth "Americans" usually haven't experienced any of the world other than in the movies. You forget that the number one reason that America IS great is because it is a land of foreigners.

        And for any of you others that want to bag on America, ask yourselves this question - "How many people are willing to risk death to come to (insert your countries name)? America isn't perfect, but it's still the place that impoverished people worldwide dream of going to.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This place is going to be a blast! Good-bye Mickey hello prancing horse!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is a weird move for Ferrari, and I think will ultimately be bad for the brand which has been a bit misused lately (think Ferrari laptops).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, the political arguments and terrorism commentary is a bit unsettling, but both sides have valid points. I wouldn't discredit Raz's comments entirely (though the associations with terrorism aren't fair to the UAE - that's just stereotyping).

      Although personally I love the idea of visiting a Ferrari theme park and driving those prancing horses, a part of me feels like this is just another lavish playground for the rich and privileged (I wonder what the cost of admission will be to this theme park).

      Meanwhile, the country's lavish estates and high rises are being built by foreign labor working in slave-like conditions in unseen slums. The UAE and the sheiks are aflood with cash and staggering excess... it can be unseemly at times. It's capitalism at its best and worst in flagrant display, often with disregard for ethical labor practices, equal protection of laws (I read stories of unequal treatment of foreigners and lack of reform in their laws), and human rights...

      Then again, I won't pretend that the US and other countries in the developing world aren't without these issues either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why would any company willingly associate themselves with bloody jihadists.

      Is Ferrari willing to bet that UAW is not behind terrorism financially and spiritually?

      Steak clear of these people, a little financial gain now may and will result in a ton of bad press later on.

      What is next, gaza F1?
        • 7 Years Ago
        You shouldn't talk when you don't know what you're talking about, or you'll start to look like your president.
        There isn't only one Middle East.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ferrari doesn't care about the UAW because Ferrari doesn't employ any of their workers.

        I'll pretend to ignore your ignorant comments, because if you knew how much the money that citizens of the UAE have invested into public companies traded on various stock/bond markets you would probably crap your pants.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Raz, what is your problem? There are several things I would like to point out:

        1) There is nothing wrong with jihad. Jihad is you struggling in the way of Allah (SWT). So if you try to break the habit of smiking, then that's your personal jihad. You're associating a good term with bad things.

        2) Do you think that everyone from the Middle East is bad? I knew once I saw a picture of an Arab on autoblog, there would be racist comments coming from people like you.

        3) UAE is actually a rich country. They already have the world's tallest building, and have 3 more coming. Not to mention the UAE is safer than most American cities.

        4) England has a king and queen, but I don't see you complaining about them. Oh, that's right. If it involves Arabs, you automatically assume them having a king is "primitive" or something.


        Raz, I'm going to say what everyone else is thinking: grow up.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ummmm, yeah, what's your deal man? The UAE is a very civil area, and they tend to be very pro-US, seeing as we're responsible for a large part of their income, and house a large portion of their possessions on our shores. They support capitalism and are anti-terrorism, they aren't jihadists. The UAE is a very safe place to go. Coming from a Republican: not every middle eastern person is a terrorist, just a very small percentage. So watch what you say about people.

        and I didn't know the UAW was behind terrorism, hmm, guess we shouldn't buy American then.
        • 7 Years Ago
        good job tanooki2003 to categorize people you don't even know, people need to think before they speak/type in general
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Steak clear"? Even the so-called jihadists speak better English than you do mate.
        Pray, tell me, where does the oil that keeps your car running come from?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Gee Raz it's so nice of you to show your ignorant uneducated trailer park trash roots which screams intelligence, that's if you consider the possum that you ran over in your 77 firebird with tractor wheels in the rear the next Einstein.

        It's no wonder shows like Jerry Springer stay alive with inbreads like this that consider it a family ritual marry only within family.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Please read a little before you make ignorant comments. Events have been held in Eastern counrties for many years, SBK, Moto GP as examples. These happen to be very attractive to conglamorates such as Ferrari because money is no object. And by the way, that $60 you just pumped into your pick up helped with the costs to build the Ferrari park...
      • 7 Years Ago
      So at the end of the day, Prince shows up to touch the new flagstone..
      • 7 Years Ago
      You all make good points. But here is my point, prince al waleed, who owns a part of Citigroup and part of ABC (parent of Disney) was a good guy, until Sept 11, you may remember that he said that SEPT 11 was a crime…but it is a US fault it happened…and then he gave the city of New York a check for few million dollars.

      Now I wonder did that event make Citigroup look cool? Or did Disney…a cartoon maker looked super cool by having one of its largest investors say that Sept 11 was a…not that bad of a thing.

      Yeah, they may have money, yeah they buy US companies, but ask yourself why did Congress make such a big deal about an arab company buying a US port company.

      Is US Congress inherently hateful and ignorant like me or gosh darn it..these people support terrorism. Not to mention that it is 2007 and they have a King. But what do I know, I am a redneck.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually NissanFreak is right and I should not jump down the throats of the small minds that pollute the goodness out of the USA. I should be more politically correct.

        It's ok Raz it's not your fault. You are just severely educationally challenged. I should have seen the symptoms. The ridiculous statements made based on misleading sources from peers or other misc means, the making up a bunch of baloney to support nonsense, the quick eager to be defensive, the need to conjure up fear or conspiracy theories based on the same misleading sources of information. It's all clear now.

        But luckily there is such a cure that can help to solve the mass destruction of such competent minds, young and old that is wreaking havoc throughout this country. it's called the Amazing GED Pill. You take 5 pills a day before and after each meal and you will notice an immediate change in your perception of the world.

        David Smith from Los Angeles, CA wrote: I used to think anybody with dark skin or looked at me funny was a terrorist. I even though my own wife was was a terrorist when she told me that if i did not take out the garbage she would kick my a#@. I thought my 1 year old son was a gangster drug dealer rap star when he was really trying to recite the ABC's to me that he learned on his own.
        After taking the amazing GED pill the colors throughout the entire world became more vivid. I did not realize i was only seeing the world in black and white. My wife and son have never been happier. Thanks so much Amazing GED Pill.

        The Amazing GED Pill is available for e easy payments of $29.99. plus $5.99 for shipping and handling. Call now! Operates are standing by.

        Call 1-555-NO-DUMB

        • 7 Years Ago
        England has a Queen...

        Australia, Canada, Jamaica, and many other countries also recognize England's Queen as the head of state.

        Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and many other countries are run by a monarchy.

        Hell Japan has an Emperor!

        I don't know what being a redneck has to do with it, all you need to do is go checkout wikipedia before you post. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy
        • 7 Years Ago
        "prince al waleed, who owns a part of Citigroup and part of ABC (parent of Disney) was a good guy, until Sept 11, you may remember that he said that SEPT 11 was a crime…but it is a US fault it happened…and then he gave the city of New York a check for few million dollars."

        i agree that US is responsible for september 11; ur govt pokes its nose in other countries business and these phsycopath terrorists(osama) dont like that and they slam planes into building killing thousands. the root cause? united states foreign policies.
        and at least he donated a million dollars. that more than u most probably donated. and wot did new yorks mayor do with the money? he refused to accept it.

        "Now I wonder did that event make Citigroup look cool? Or did Disney…a cartoon maker looked super cool by having one of its largest investors say that Sept 11 was a…not that bad of a thing."

        try to understand tht corporations are a separate entity themselves and a corporations 'views' might differ from its shareholders

        "Yeah, they may have money, yeah they buy US companies, but ask yourself why did Congress make such a big deal about an arab company buying a US port company."

        actualluy DP worlds deal to buy us port went through. the only reason it was reversed was because of ppl like u who think tht all muslims are terrorists.

        "Is US Congress inherently hateful and ignorant like me or gosh darn it..these people support terrorism."
        its poeple like u that are hateful. congress is also made up of people

        "Not to mention that it is 2007 and they have a King. But what do I know, I am a redneck."
        i live in dubai(uae). and INDIRECTLY because of the fact that this country has a king, we do not hav to pay taxes!
        dont u just wish usa had a king who would abolish taxes?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Volvo already did this in LegoLand, Ferrari wha? ;)
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'd rather go to a Ferrari theme park than a volvo one, because Ferraris are, well...fun
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