In October 2010, the Italian car manufacturer, Ferrari, inaugurated a new amusement park: a park of extreme speed. It is the largest “roofed” park in the world and includes an F1 circuit. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi faithfully reproduces the entire history of the “Cavallino Rampante” (“prancing horse”), offering the visitor every type of attraction related to the brand.
Located on the island of Yas, United Emirates, it took only three years to build, in an area where the temperatures rise above 40° and where before there was only sand.
It’s not the first time a team relied on rides in amusement parks. In Germany, Mercedes Benz has a roller coaster in Europa Park, which uses all the technology they’ve developed for F1. But it is the first time a whole park is dedicated to one team.
Ferrari World is located on the island of Yas in Abu Dhabi. It is ten minutes away from Abu Dhabi’s international airport, thirty minutes from the city, very close to the island’s new Formula 1 circuit, next to the tightest curve, and also to the desert, which provides a curious contrast: the red of Ferrari and the ochre of the sand.
The island of Yas is situated in front of the city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. With a surface area of 25km², it has 17 establishments devoted to leisure. Boasting numerous attractions, among them an international Formula 1 circuit, first-rate hotels, theme parks, marinas and a golf course.
The building was conceived as a simple structure bound to the land. A three-pointed star housing the inner levels, with three claws extending from those points to create the attraction outside of the enclosed space. The outer form of the building was derived from the sinuous double curve of the classic Ferrari bodywork, for which the 3D designs were crucial in the evolution of the structure.
According to Benoy Architects, Ferrari World has become the “spiritual centre” of the island of Yas.
The theme park is the property of Aldar Properties PJSC, one of the key investor companies of Abu Dhabi. Benoy Architects were in charge of its construction. The design and construction of the attractions was undertaken by the firm, Jack Rouse Associates.
It is the first theme park to be built entirely indoors and the first in the world for Ferrari. It extends across a surface area of 86,000m² available to visitors.
It’s iconic and bold red roof was directly inspired by the classic double curve of Ferrari’s GT line, spanning 200,000m² and incorporating the largest Ferrari logo ever made, at 65 by 48 metres.
The double curve was applied proportionately in the elevation, to adjust the length of the structure (700m) and the height (45m). This proportion gave rise to the dynamic scale of the construction, which extends from point to point of the three-sided roof.
Inside, the centre of the epic roof drops to meet the floor, like an illuminated glass window in the form of a tunnel, creating the ideal space for one of the most exciting routes through the site.
Facts about its construction
- Designed by the renowned international architecture studio, Benoy
- The height of the building is 50m, with a roof circumference of 2,200m
- Total surface area of the project: 176,000m²
- Surface area accessible by the general public: 86,000m²
- Surface area of the three-sided roof: 236,000m²
- More than 12,370 tonnes of steel were used to reinforce the structure
- Landscaped area round the main building: more than 450,000m²
- More than 6,900m of guttering were used for the roof
Ferrari World is a theme park which offers more than 20 attractions of the latest design within its 86,000m² and sits under a weighted three-dimensional structure. This is enough space to house seven football fields.
Among its many attractions can be found:
A roller coaster with the same G-force that would be felt driving an F1 racing car, with speeds of more than 200km/h, as well as accelerations and braking characteristic of a single-seater. The wagons were inspired by the single-seaters of Formula 1 and the route is 2.07km. It is the fastest roller coaster in the world.
Fiorano GT Challenger
The park’s second roller coaster, whose wagons have the characteristics and shape of the Ferrari F430.
One of the most impressive attractions is the 60m high “G-Force Tower”, one of the most intense “free-fall” experiences in the world. Being subjected to a G-force of 1.7G’s is very similar to that which the drivers feel when in their cars during the Grand Prix. The ride is found in the centre of the park.
Visitors to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi can also enjoy an aerial trip across Italy following Ferrari; an experience which takes the passenger on a journey for adrenaline-lovers at a height of 62m, over the roof and back to solid ground. A journey through the heart of the V12 engine of the Ferrari 599.
Ferrari World also boasts two luxury restaurants which serve the cuisine of the Maranello region of Italy, a traditional Italian restaurant where they make pizzas to order, and shops where visitors can pass the time picking up souvenirs of the brand.
The roof is made of a base of steel with strong insulation, and for the main façades (29,000m²) treated glass has been used to reduce the thermal load and glare.
100,000m³ of cement were poured into the slabs which make up the park.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has the largest steel frame structure ever built, with a total of around 172,000 pieces, 43,100 nodes and 12,370 tonnes of structural steel.
To cover the green areas around the roller coasters, 39,000m² of grass were used.