Yas Island is definitely one of the most exciting parts of visiting Abu Dhabi for families – as well as thrill-seeking junkies and general theme park lovers – we know there are plenty of big kids out there too!
And for good reason, Yas Island truly is developing to be one of the best entertainment destinations in the world. Most come for the “Big 3” theme parks, these are:
- Yas Waterworld
- Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
- Ferrari World
We are going to walk you through what to expect at each of these mega-theme parks; Most importantly how you get there – from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, how to get discounted tickets and what else you will find on Yas Island, from meals to accommodation and other entertainment.
Let’s dive into Yas Island!
How to get to Yas Island and the Theme Parks
- Self-drive & park
- Buses from Dubai & Abu Dhabi
- Private transfer services & taxi
- Yas Express shuttle on Yas Island
Self Drive & Park
The easiest way is always with your own car, if available. There is ample car parking at all three theme parks.
Are they all next to each other? Not quite. Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros World entrances are adjacent – but not their car park entrances. WB World has a covered car park but it’s a bit of a hike, the Yas Waterworld car pack is actually best if you want to switch between the two.
For Ferrari World, you can actually park in any of the Yas Mall car parks, but there is one dedicated to theme park parking. You can walk from Ferrari World/Yas Mall to the other two, but on a hot day with kids – it’s a hike. You can take the free Yas Express shuttle in between – more below!
Dubai to Yas Island
Public Bus from Dubai to Yas Island
There are usually two public buses from Dubai. However, since COVID, only one route, the 101 Intercity Bus, has resumed.
The 101 leaves from Ibn Batutta Station (Red Line Metro) and arrives at Abu Dhabi Bus Station (Al Wadha). This bus costs 25 AED per person. You then need to connect with local bus service 102 which takes you to Yas Island, via Saadiyat Island (6 AED).
The 100 Intercity bus from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station (in Deira) is yet to resume.
From Abu Dhabi Bus Station you can then catch a 190 bus to Yas Island (separately ticketed, not on Nol).
Yas Express complimentary shuttle bus service from Dubai
These buses depart in the morning from Dubai at 11:00 AM and return to Dubai in the evening from two pick up points at Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld/WB World Abu Dhabi :
- Route Y6 – Deira City Center (next to Aloft Hotel)
- Route Y7 – Ibn Battuta Station (China Court entrance)
The buses return from Yas Island at 7:30 PM (Route Y7) and 8:00 PM (Route Y6)
Arrange a private transfer from Dubai to Yas Island
The easiest way with a larger group is to arrange your transfers door to door, a same day service. You can try these providers from our affiliate partners:
- Private transfer service from Dubai to Abu Dhabi attractions (transport only)
- Private Transfers from Dubai (including Park Tickets)
A taxi from Dubai to Yas Island will cost you in the vicinity of 300 AED each way. Some Dubai taxies have been reluctant since COVID to drive the whole way so you may need to change taxi just over the border at a petrol station.
How to get to the Yas Island Theme Parks by bus from Abu Dhabi
Just as above, from Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station you can catch the 190 which will loop around Saadiyat Island and drop you to the front of Ferrari World. You can see the full route map here.
If you are coming from the Airport, local bus service A19 leaves once an hour stops at Ferrari World/Yas Mall and Yas Waterworld.
From other major tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi, look for the Visit Abu Dhabi shuttle service Route B, this takes in a circular loop including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Central Bus Station, the Louvre and Jubail Island Mangroves.
Staying on Yas Island, there are free Yas Express shuttle buses with pick-ups at the major hotels.
- Y1 runs from Yas Plaza Hotels & W Hotel to the theme parks
- Y2 runs from Hilton (Yas Bay) to the theme parks
Yas Express buses also run from Masdar City and Yas Marina.
Alternatively, a taxi is an easy way to get a group there. You are looking at 45AED coming straight from the airport AUH (as there is a 25AED flagfall), or approximately 60-80AED coming from “on island”.
Transport once you are on Yas Island
All shuttle services, once you are on Yas Island, are FREE on the Yas Express.
What to expect at the Yas Theme Parks
We will cover each of the theme parks and what to expect in much more detail (coming soon), in the meantime, these are the basic facts you need to know:
Regularly voted as the region – and the world’s – Best Water Park, it’s not hard to see why. This Emirati-themed water park includes a sensational 40+ rides and attractions.
A great place to take even your under 3’s as some of the splash areas and specifically designed with tots in mind, through the junior slides then the Marah Fortress for your older kids. There is, of course, the waterpark favourite the crazy river and the Amwaj Wave Pool for all the family to enjoy together.
Thrill-seekers can then graduate on to the Slithers Slides, the Sebag racing lanes and a straight drop down in the Liwa Loop. There are family and group rides too like the Falcons Falaj and Dawamma, the world’s largest tornado water coaster!
Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
With a spectacular 29 rides, attractions and entertaining shows, this entirely indoor theme park is an absolute family crowd-pleaser. You will find cartoon favourites from your own childhood from the Flintstones and the Jetsons as well as DC Comic heroes wandering the streets of Metropolis and Gotham City.
It is primarily suited to your kids of 4 years+, but there are some rides and attractions suitable for those under 1.1m or open to all ages.
Home to some of the fastest rides in the world – including the World’s Fastest Roller Coaster, Formula Rossa – this is where you want to take your little adrenaline junkies. The recently extended Family Zone makes it accessible to a much wider age group with many rides now available to kids under 1.2m.
It’s a great place to enjoy endless hours of rollercoaster fun and simulator games, as well as live shows and dining options. Everything is, of course, Ferrari-themed in this one of a kind action theme park – entirely indoors (except some of the coasters which need to escape outside the building due to their height!)
Yas Island Theme Park Tickets
There are many ways you can get your hands on Yas Island theme park tickets, in addition to simply buying them at the door when you get to each venue. We always recommend pre-purchasing and having vouchers on your phone.
One of the best third-party ticketing apps we have found is Klook. They offer discounts off the standard price you will pay at the door, and often can include transfers in their tickets. You can see the latest ticket packages here (Will open in a new window):
- Klook tickets to Ferrari World
- Klook Tickets to Yas Waterworld
- Klook tickets to Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
If you are staying at one of the Yas Island hotels (see below) you may also be able to get tickets included within the price of your hotel room.
What other attractions are on Yas Island
It is definitely worth sticking around Yas Island for more than just the theme parks. Here’s what else you can find:
- Well we can’t not mention the Formula One Grand Prix, right? Held at the end of November every year on the island’s centrepiece, the Yas Marina Circuit. Come and party with the rich and famous, enjoy the concerts and the general party atmosphere around town.
- Visiting off-season? Not to worry there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy the track. Our favourite is joining in with the open track nights on the Yas circuit – TrainYas. Entry to the track is free and you can hire bikes – some are free, or better bikes paid. The free ones get snapped up early when the weather is good. There are also AM track mornings for the super-fit bikers!
- You can do a lap of the track with Formula 3000 Driving Experiences (over 18s and need to be between 160cm and 188cm.)
- If you’re not quite ready for the big cars, give the karts a go! Yas Marina Kart Zone can be found at Yas Central – in the heart of the GP track, still enough to get your adrenaline pumping!
- Or for a more sedate option, go with a 2 hour behind the scenes tour of the circuit and race control rooms.
Leisure Facilities on Yas Island
- Further around the island, Yas Marina is a beautiful setting to enjoy dinner and a drink overlooking the marina. There’s also a fountain area and playpark for kids.
- Newly opened in 2021, Yas Bay is the city’s stunning new nightlight destination with more than a dozen bars and restaurants and attached to the Etihad Arena.
- Etihad Park is a spectacular open air events venue, between the race track and Ferrari World.
- Yas Links includes an 18 hole golf course with a spectacular waterfront setting, as well as a links course and dining overlooking the water.
- CLYMB Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s largest indoor skydiving centre and the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall for fitness enthusiast.
- Yas Beach provides a luxurious cabana-style setting if sun-loungers on the beach is your thing. Normally pretty quiet on weekdays then weekends when school is out is family and party time. There are water sports on-site and dining options.
- For those living in Abu Dhabi, you may enjoy picnicking or taking the kids down on their bikes to Yas Gateways parks, north and south. Most of the year these lie empty as overflow parking for the Grand Prix but they’ve been made into beautiful parkland to enjoy the rest of the year.
- Oh and looking for all-round dining and entertainment options? Yas Mall is as big as it gets in Abu Dhabi. Attached to Ferrari World here you will find not just shopping but cinemas, restaurants, a food court, giant Toys R Us, Virgin Megastore, a Pop in & Play Lego childcare, KidZania Abu Dhabi. It’s a hub of activity especially evenings and weekends.
As you can see, you need far more than a day to truly enjoy everything on offer on Yas Island. We recommend at least 2 full days to enjoy it all, if not more.
Yas Island Hotels: Where to stay on Yas Island
There are several hotels to suit different budget ranges on Yas Island. All come with great facilities and are interconnected by the Yas Express shuttle bus system and have access to Yas Beach.
The newest opening is The WB Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton – ideally situated between Yas Waterworld and WB World. Think themed rooms and dining with theme park tickets included with your stay!
Our next choice for families would be Hilton Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Situated in the brand new Yas Bay this hotel is simply bursting with leisure facilities, dining, and theme park ticket packages are possible too.
The most unique of all the hotels is W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island (previously called Yas Viceroy and Yas Hotel). W Hotel straddles the actual Grand Prix track and has sensational track views and a rooftop pool.
The other choices on Yas Island to try (all located together in the Yas hotel plaza) are:
- Yas Island Rotana
- Centro Yas Island – by Rotana
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island
- Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi Yas Island
- Crowne Plaza Yas Island
- Staybridge Suites Yas Island Abu Dhabi
You really can’t go wrong staying at the nearby hotels if the theme parks are the aim of your trip, and you want ease of access either back to Abu Dhabi Airport, or driving back to Dubai without hitting the centre of Abu Dhabi.
If you did want to add some sightseeing, you are less than 20 minutes away from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in one direction, and the Saadiyat Island luxury beach resorts in the other, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
We hope we’ve inspired you to book a trip from Dubai to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi to experience the theme park fun.
You can catch more of our UAE inspirational family travel guides here:
- How to do an Abu Dhabi stopover (under 24 hrs)
- 40+ things to do for Free or Really cheap in Abu Dhabi
- The UAE’s best eco-tourism experiences
- Guide to all-inclusive resorts in Abu Dhabi
- Best indoor activities with kids in Abu Dhabi
- Best indoor activities with kids in Dubai
- Best value Dubai attraction tickets
- Best outdoor winter activities in Abu Dhabi and the UAE
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