India is number one source market for Yas Island – Liam Findlay, CEO, Miral Destinations
Amidst its growing destination popularity and bucking the post-Covid international visitors’ arrival trends, Yas Island, Middle East’s foremost entertainment destination, is now readying to launch its much-awaited marine life theme park SeaWorld Abu Dhabi on May 23, 2023 that will join its consortium of exciting theme parks, entertainment and other offering on the island. Yas has already given a sneak peek through the launch of Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue, the region’s first dedicated marine research, rescue and rehabilitation center located next to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, that was launched in February earlier this year.
Talking about the latest addition to the portfolio of theme parks at Yas Island, Liam Findlay, CEO of Miral Destinations, said, “SeaWorld is going to be a phenomenal product. We are opening on 23rd of May. In February, we opened the rescue and research center of the SeaWorld which is really an important part of the eco-system. It is emphasizing on rehabilitation, research and rescue of marine life within the eco-system of Abu Dhabi and beyond. And when it comes to the marine life theme park SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, it’s really about ‘education.’ It’s going to have 150 species of marine animals, over 100,000 animals on five floors. It’s about educating the generations to come and inspire them to look after our oceans for the future generations. We have spared no expense to make it world class. It’s sea world 2.0.”
Built on five indoor levels, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be spread over a total area of 183,000 square meters, will contain more than 58 million liters of water, 150 species of marine animals and will be home to the world’s largest and most expansive multi-species marine-life aquarium. The next generation marine-life theme park will also boasts of world-class rides and experiences along with some unique dining and shopping experiences.
Other experiences will include the SeaWorld Abu Dhabi telling the guests a unified One Ocean story based on the interconnectivity of all life on earth and in our ocean. It will also have interesting features like being home to eight different realms in a unique design offering immersive experiences.
Speaking about the Indian market that has become Yas Island’s number one visitor market today, Findlay said, “We have been very impressed with the Indian market. Our recovery came back a lot quicker than we budgeted for. India was the one that rolled back the quickest.” He however also pointed that the recovery has come riding on the back of an effective marketing strategy and investment. “It did come back from a very good strategy. We invested a lot into India last year. We had Ranveer Singh who is our brand ambassador. We did things like IIFA. We increased the team from three people to ten people within the Indian market. And we are extremely very happy with the Indian market. India is number one source market for Yas Island,” he added.
Furthermore, commenting on Yas’ attractiveness for the Indian market, the Miral CEO said, “When we look at the products that we have on the Yas Island, the theme parks, the attractions, amazing hotels, it really fits within the Indian travellers. We are a short trip away, running two hours from some (Indian) cities to Abu Dhabi. We have got world class attractions. Ferrari World has been the fan favourite of India, probably one of the most famous attractions within Yas Island. We have Warner Bros., we have got SeaWorld, We have got amazing hotels, amazing culinary destinations. Close to Yas Island is also Abu Dhabi Formula 1. Then we have got a Golf Course which is in the top 50 of the world. It’s island of brands. There is nothing like Yas Island in the Middle East. We are the number one entertainment destination of the region. We are very proud of building the best of the best with famous brands like Ferrari and Warner Bros.”
Ever evolving, in the last three-four years Yas has added Warner Bros. World, the largest indoor theme park in the world; Etihad Arena which is 18,000 seating capacity multi-purpose stadium that has hosted some amazing concerts, IIFA, NBA, UFC, among others. The venue will host the second consecutive edition of IIFA later this month. Last year, it added Yas Bay which is a culinary destination with 30 specialized restaurants on the water front. Besides, Yas has also added almost 1000 more rooms in the last couple of years across three new properties, including Hilton, a Warner Bros themed hotel and Double Tree. Today, Yas Island boasts of a total hotel room inventory of 3000 rooms across ten distinct hotel properties.