When most of us think of a theme park you picture people in costumes from a bygone era, boiled lollies and half baked re-enactments of life from a bygone era. Well, they do things differently in Abu Dahbi where construction of a Ferrari Theme Park has officially kicked off with the laying of the future parks foundation stone.
Officials and special guests in attendance at Yas Island for the event included Ferrari's President Luca di Montezemolo and Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman, ALDAR Properties, as well as invited guests representing media, government and business organizations from around the world.
In addition to the Foundation Stone Ceremony a special time capsule was buried, containing a Con-rod and Piston of the F2007, the F1 World Champion Ferrari car, together with the first artist's impression of the Ferrari Theme Park on Yas Island. The plan is to reopen the capsule during Ferrari's 100th anniversary year in 2047, at which time something as uncouth as a piston will probably be quite amusing.
"This is a very special year for Ferrari. Together with the extraordinary commercial success of our GT cars, it brought to Maranello the F1 Constructors World Championship and the F1 Drivers World Championship with Kimi Raikkonen, and I am particularly proud to be present to mark the symbolic start of this great project. Moreover, 2007 is the year of Ferrari's 60th anniversary, and this Ceremony has therefore a further, important meaningâ€, said Ferrariâ€™.s Luca di Montezemolo.
The theme park is a joint project between Ferrari and ALDAR properties PJSC, the 250,000 sqm park (80,000 of them covered) promises to be a little (big) slice of Italy as well as capturing the legendary automotive history, passion and heritage of Ferrari cars and racing.
Due to be completed in 2009, the Ferrari them park will provide amusement for the whole family (especially Dad) and will feature multi-format high tech theatres, a variety of sophisticated driving schools both for children and adults, Ferrari automotive displays and participatory learning centres as well as food and entertainment.
Among the 24 attractions, the Park will offer a mix of high-octane and family rides with roller coasters jetting into the sky and dipping through the covered areas. At the heart of the park will be an advanced and sophisticated circuit offering driving courses, which will be the home of the first Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix in 2009.
If youâ€™re wondering â€˜why Abu Dahbiâ€™, the reason is simple â€“ a lot of Ferraris are sold in the United Arab Emirates region, with 248 cars finding new homes in 2006. Abu Dahbi is also home to one of the largest Ferrari Sales and After Sales Centres in the world which opened in September.