A destination for business, leisure and entertainment, Yas Island provides a 360-degree experience for visitors in every varying capacity. The unique facilities that make Yas Island one of the UAE’s fastest growing tourist destinations include: Yas Marina Circuit, the official host of the world- famous FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIXTM; Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park and home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa; Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, where visitors can experience the ultimate water adventure with 45 rides, slides and attractions; Yas Links Abu Dhabi, offering sensational facilities and sea views; Yas Marina, where visitors of all ages can stroll along calm turquoise waters and enjoy world-class dining; and seven stunning hotels offering luxurious yet affordable accommodation, amenities and international cuisine.
Yas Island is seven minutes from Abu Dhabi Airport (serving almost 100 destinations around the world), 25 minutes from central Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai and Dubai DXB Airport.
Yas Island has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Throughout the month of April, temperature in day will generally reach a high of around 35°C (94°F). At night the average minimum temperature drops down to around 20°C (68°F). The average daily relative humidity for April is around 47%.
Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year. However, visitors are still advised to bring along a jacket or sweater when visiting hotels or cinemas because of the air-conditioning.
Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and is widely practiced. The Islamic holy day is Friday. A Muslim is required to pray (facing Makkah) five times a day. The times vary according to the position of the sun, when the modern day call to prayer is transmitted through loudspeakers on mosque minarets.
Arabic is the official language, although English is widely spoken. Most road and shop signs and restaurant menus are reflected in both languages. However, do note that English is less widely used as you travel further outside of the city. Arabic may not be the easiest language to learn but if you can throw in a couple of Arabic words when interacting with the locals, here and there they will still be warmly received.
Yas Island local time is GMT/UCT + 4 hours. There are no daylight-saving adjustments.
The working week is Sunday to Thursday. Business hours are generally from 8am to 1pm and then again from 4.30pm till late in the evening. There are some government offices that operate their hours differently. These hours begin from 8am and close for business at approximately 3.30pm.
The Islamic holy day is Friday and most organisations operate on a Friday/Saturday weekend. Shops and visitor attractions are open on both days, though usually towards the end of the day or in the early evening on Fridays.
Banking hours are generally Saturday to Thursday, 8am to 1pm (some banks also keep later hours). Some banks have small branches based in malls, which are open in the evening.
The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs) which is divided into 100 fils and is pegged against the US dollar (US$ 1: AED 3.6725).
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Foreign currencies and travelers’ checks can be exchanged in licensed exchange offices, banks and hotels, a passport is required. Personal checks can be a bit trickier and many places won’t accept them. If you’re shopping in the souks (markets) or in smaller shops, cash is the best option.
Voltage is 220/240 AC at 50 Hz. Socket type is square three-pin 13 amp (as used in the UK)
Tipping is not expected, but is commonly practiced in the emirate. Gratuities to staff at hotels and restaurants are at your discretion. Many fine dining and high-end restaurants may add a service charge (usually around 10%) and a tourism levy of 6% to your bill. These charges are often included in the menu prices and the menu will denote when they are. However, if you are extremely satisfied with the service, do feel free to a tip on top of the 16% fee & services charges included in your bill. If these charges are not included, then you may like to add a 10-15% tip to the total bill.
Yas Island hospitals are generally well-equipped to handle any kind of medical emergencies; visitors are reminded have adequate travel insurance that covers you for healthcare. If you have a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment, be sure to bring enough medication with you to last you for your entire stay in Dubai. However, you are advised to bring a medical certificate with you sanctioning the use of such medications, since certain substances are banned.
As Islam is a way of life in the city, tourists should adopt a certain level of cultural and religious sensitivity for the duration of their stay. While dress codes are fairly liberal, swimwear should only be worn on beaches or at swimming pools. Visitors are also advised to not wear clothing that are too tight or revealing when visiting shopping malls and other attractions. Certain attractions, such as mosques or religious sites, usually have stricter dress codes, requiring both men and women to cover up bare shoulders, arms and legs, and women to wear headscarves.
Yas Mall: Opened in November 2014, Yas Mall offers an exciting range of enhanced shopping concepts including 450 leading international and regional retail brands, a 20-screen state-of-the-art cinema operated by VOX Cinemas and a family entertainment zone by Funworks. Yas Mall is also directly linked to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park. Burlesque Restaurant & Lounge: Officially opened in September 2014, Burlesque offers an innovative combination of lounge and restaurant vibes, with a grand terrace overlooking the stunning Yas Marina. Located in the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Marina Wing, the popular live Cabaret shows take place every Thursday and Friday evening – a definite must-see for both first-time and returning visitors. Belgian Beer Café: Opened in October 2014, the Belgian Beer Café is an authentic café featuring a 1920’s Belgian-inspired interior and a breezy outdoor terrace overlooking Yas Island. Nestled in the Radisson Blu Hotel Yas Island, the Belgian Beer Café is perfect for a quick lunch, relaxed evening meal or after-work beverages. Coming Soon: All-new beach club: Set to open in the coming months, the beach club will be located next to Yas Links Abu Dhabi golf course and will feature 280-degree beach and mangrove views. One of the club’s restaurants, MAI, will offer a selection of seasonal oysters and a gourmet assortment of seafood platters, along with some of the world’s finest champagne and wines. Amenities will include a spa comprising three treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art outdoor Spa Massage Pavilion.
Getting around Yas Island is easy. There are different types of taxis in Abu Dhabi, and the most common are the silver taxis which are operated by authorized taxi companies. The recently introduced pink taxis are exclusively for female passengers and boys under the age of 10. They are driven by women and have the same fares as the silver taxis.
There are plenty of metered taxis in Abu Dhabi and most malls have designated taxi stands.
The other option is to book in advance through the hotline number (TransAD hotline 600 535353), but be prepared to pay a little extra for this. Usually the meter starts at AED 3.5, but reserving a taxi will attract an additional charge.
Every hired taxi can be asked to travel to places outside Abu Dhabi City or outside the emirate. The fare for a trip to Dubai in a metered taxi, for example, is about AED 250 during daytime. Shared taxis are available for inter-emirate travel at the central bus station next to Al Wahda Mall.
You can easily use regular meter taxis to get to the airport, or specially registered airport taxis and limo services, which can be more expensive. If the meter is used, the average journey into town from the airport costs AED 70 – 80. After 10pm there will be a minimum charge per fare of AED 10 (even if the fare is below AED10, the passenger will have to pay the minimum fare of AED 10, regardless of what the meter shows. If the cost of the trip is above AED 10, then the passenger pays the actual cost displayed on the metre).
Passengers are only permitted to bring certain items, such as liquids, gels, pastes, lotions, creams and drinks past the security checkpoint if they are in containers with a capacity of 100ml or less. All the containers must be carried in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag. Other items considered dangerous, such as aerosols, potential weapons and flammable materials, are also not permitted past this point. You should check the customs regulations of your destination country before departure too.
The emergency phone number for Police across the United Arab Emirates is 999. Calls to this number are free of charge.
When calling the emergency number, please remember to state your name, the nature of the accident, address of the emergency and how serious the situation is.
If you are involved in a traffic accident, it’s important to contact the police immediately. In case of a minor incident, move your car to the side of the road, as there are fines for obstructing traffic. You cannot file an insurance claim without a police report.