FUN FOR ALL

Abu Dhabi 2020 | CULTURE, TOURISM & ENTERTAINMENT | VIP INTERVIEW

The success of Yas Island and its major theme parks can in part be attributed to the unique and immersive experiences Miral has helped create on the island.

How do you see Yas Island fitting into the fabric of Abu Dhabi life?
Yas Island has become a success story for all of Abu Dhabi to be proud of. It saw 25 million visits in 2015 and 28 million visits in 2018, which is testament to its status today as a globally recognized destination. Overall, we are pleased with the performance of Yas Island and its major theme parks, which is in part down to the unique and immersive experiences Miral has helped create on the island. Yas Island has become an entertainment hub for families and travellers, and allows them to enjoy a range of offerings. But there's more to Yas Island than theme parks, and one of its major appeals is its location: ten minutes from Abu Dhabi airport, 25 minutes from Abu Dhabi city center, and 45 minutes from Dubai airport. The master plan and the design of the island both complement its purpose. Today, Yas Island hosts seven hotels, a Formula One race track, the marina, a golf club, a shopping mall, and three theme parks.

How does Miral work with Aldar to ensure that the entertainment offering enhances the residential offering?
Both Miral and Aldar sit on the Yas Advisory Board, which meets every three months. The board is supported by sub committees for marketing, master planning, new developments, MICE events, and asset management. These sub committees cooperate on new initiatives, while the board gives strategic approval. There's excellent synergy between the stakeholders as we all share the same strategic goal, which is to position Yas Island as a top global destination for entertainment, leisure and business.

What are some of the innovative planning strategies that Yas Island brings?
Innovation is at the heart of our longterm growth strategy. Miral always puts customer experience at the core of its business. By adopting the perspective of a guest, we're able to come up with lasting strategies that make the entire Yas Island experience seamless and unforgettable. Our vision is to connect all of our assets digitally and physically. Today, we are at Phase I in this online digital journey, and the platform will allow users to tailor and customize their experiences. We aim to add more of these combined experiences in the future. Physically, we want to make transportation between all the island's assets much faster and easier, as this will give visitors and residents the feeling of one connected resort. There's also a free shuttle bus, that allows visitors to go from hotels to popular attractions within the island in five to 10 minutes. In addition, we have a new initiative called Yas Captains, where our teams are trained to speak the language of the guest and promote all offerings on the island. This will provide visitors with a cohesive destination experience and create a unique sense of belonging.

How do you plan to integrate your residential offering into the rest of the city and how can transport links be improved?
For this, we work closely with Aldar, which owns that portfolio. Our goal is to provide our residents with services as if they are living in a resort, providing a platform where they can access different experiences and events that give them privileges as residents on the island. Consequently, we are also working hard to improve the transport links to the city for visitors. Our vision is for families to land at the airport, pick up a car, and arrive at the hotel, and once they arrive, they can use a platform to decide which experience they want for different family members. For example, this would allow various family members or travelers to enjoy the spa, play golf, and/or visit the theme parks separately. This platform means a family can share experiences, meet at night, and enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants on offer.