Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ferrari Theme Park Starts to Take Shape

A bit of a stretch for this blog, but our reader(s) probably won't mind. This looks interesting.

ABU DHABI, UAE ( – We've already seen Ferrari's licensing skills produce a range of merchandise from sunglasses to laptops – and now it's taking on Disneyland with the prancing horse's very own theme park. The doors will open in 2009 in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. A large slice of desert on the island of Yas will be reclaimed to host the development, which will include 24 attractions, including a 70-metre high G-Force Tower and what's claimed to be the world's first F1-branded twin rollercoaster ride, allowing races between carriages. Budding Schumachers can try their hand at go-karting and dune buggy racing – and there are bound to be plenty of opportunities to snaffle up Ferrari-branded goodies, too. The plans by Benoy Architects even reveal plans for the Ferrari F1 pitlane experience. This is a massive scheme, including a motor racing circuit destined to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, posh hotels, apartments, villas, a golf course and marina, dozens of restaurants and shops... you get the idea. The whole thing is going to cost around £300 million (US$583 million), much of it stumped up by Middle East developers Aldar Properties. Ferrari CEO Jean Todt has called the site 'an important attraction for fans and car lovers worldwide.'

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