Two hotels, an international-class arena, pier, parks and so much more…

Despite the challenges dished out by the ongoing pandemic, development of the Dhs12 billion Yas Bay megaproject on the south of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, has been continuing at pace.

Once finished, and phase one is still potentially on track for end of this year/beginning of 2021, it will include housing for 15,000 individuals in the luxury Residences; 19 parks; retail space; leisure and entertainment zones; a waterfront and pier with; a gigantic new indoor arena (Etihad Arena); two hotels (The Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Hotel and another “lifestyle-oriented hotel brand”); a beach club; skate park; schools; a huge twofour54 creative hub and more.

The Yas Bay website also recently added a feature that gives you an opportunity to take a 360 virtual tour of the project renders.

The Waterfront

The Waterfront makes up the leisure hub of Yas Bay. Once finished, visitors will find 3km of pristine, island-edge boardwalk to meander along; 19 entertainment and retail outlets including a boutique cinema and beach club; 37 bars, restaurants, bistros and cafes; two hotels; the Etihad Arena; art galleries; a large botanical central courtyard; art installations; and reaching out in the azul waters of the Gulf, Pier 71. The pier area will contain 12 of its own food and beverage destinations, and will be accessible by car, foot, bike, boat and water taxi.

The Etihad Arena

Etihad Arena Abu Dhabi events UFC

This sparkling new arena was already supposed to be open, and hosting some of the biggest and best events on the international circuit. Disney On Ice was booked in for April 15, 2020… but then Corona happened. The good news is that the 18,000-seat, stunningly-designed space is much finished now. The problem is that as long as the pandemic holds out, it’s hard to foresee there being any change to restrictions on large crowds of spectators at events.

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We also recently learned that Etihad Arena would be the next home of UFC in the UAE — with a big night of fights, according to UFC chief Dana White coming as early as “the end of January or early February.”

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Hotel

Located along the waterfront of the Yas Bay development this soon-to-launch 546 key resort puts it in the perfect location for exploring the island’s theme parks and adventure centres. The Hilton website promises an “outdoor pool complex with infinity pool, floating beach, and kid’s club” in addition to a spa and huge chunk of event space. What’s a floating beach? Working on coffee-fuelled conjecture and a brief consultation of the renders it looks like an extravagant solution to this section of the island not having a beach, the resort seems to be creating an artificial one — on a floating platform, anchored to the hotel’s edge. Because that’s how we do in the UAE. There’ll be four restaurants and bars, of those, we know that — Graphos Social Kitchen will provide a menu packed with modern international flair; Osmo Lounge and Bar will offer refined sips and grand waterfront views; and Capila, the Pool Bar and Grill will serve up flame-charred wonderstuff in a chill alfresco setting. As for the fourth… We’ve heard rumours but we really can’t say.

Images: What’s On archive