Ultimate Yas Island Theme Parks Guide for 2021

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 (the far side of Ikea).  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.

Dubai to Yas Island

Public Bus from Dubai to Yas Island

There is a combination of buses you can take from Dubai. Get yourself to Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Dubai (Green line Metro).  The intercity bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi Bus Station (Al Wadha) leaves from here every 10 to 20 minutes and costs 25 AED (you can use your Dubai RTA Nol card).  Alternatively, you can also catch the Route 101 Bus from Ibn Batutta Station (Red line metro) which leaves every 20 to 30 minutes.

You can see our full guide getting between Dubai to Abu Dhabi here

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 minibuses depart in the morning from Dubai at a set time and return to Dubai in the evening from two pick up points at Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld/WB World Abu Dhabi :

  • Deira City Center (Big Bus service area)
  • Dubai Mall (Tourist bus parking area)
  • Burjuman Mall (City Seasons Hotel bus stop)
  • Mall of the Emirates (Entrance A ground floor)
  • All services start in Dubai at 9.30am (MoE also has an 11.30am service); They take between one and two hours depending on location.
  • The return services all depart from Ferrari World at 7.30pm (Sat to Wed) and 8.30pm (Thu to Fri), 5 minutes later at Yas Waterworld/WB World Abu Dhabi stop.

Arrange a  private transfer 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:

A taxi from Dubai to Yas Island will cost you in the vicinity of 300AED each way.

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.

Staying on Saadiyat Island, there is a free Yas Express shuttle bus (Orange Route) with pick-ups at the major resorts, as well as a pick up from Etihad Plaza (Green Route) and Shangri-La/Fairmont service (Yellow Route).

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. There are 3 routes that run around just the island, connecting the hotels, theme parks, Marina Circuit and Yas Links golf course.

You’ll find all Yas Express Time Tables here.

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 very soon!), in the meantime these are the basic facts you need to know:

Yas Waterworld

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!

Amwaj Wave pool at Yas Waterworld

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 Flinstones 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.

You can read a detailed review of what to expect at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi here

WB World Abu Dhabi
Dynamite Gulch in Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World

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.

Ferrari World's new family Zone

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!)

You can read a full review of what to expect at the Ferrari World Family Zone here.

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 latest ticket packages here (Will open in a new window):

NB – If this is your first time using the Klook App you can save a further 10AED using our code FAMILY10 (min spend 200AED)

Another good option is to use Get Your Guide. They offer these ticket deals:

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.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit
Starting positions for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, held annually at the Yas Marina Circuit
  • 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.
Yas Hotel lit up at night
Yas Hotel, viewed from the Yas Marina the colourful night roof
  • 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.
  • Yas Links includes an 18 hole golf course with a spectacular waterfront setting, as well as a links course and dining overlooking the water.
  • Yas Beach provides a luxurious cabana-style setting if sun-loungers on the beach os your thing. Normally pretty quiet on weekdays then weekends when school is ou,t 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.
Yas Gateway Park North
Yas Gateway Park North
  • 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 toy stores, 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.

The fanciest of all the hotels is Yas Hotel (previously called Yas Viceroy, now a Marriott Hotel that we suspect is being changed to be part of the W Hotel chain).  Yas Hotel straddles the actual Grand Prix track and has sensational track views and a rooftop pool.

Swimming Pool on the Yas Hotel Roof top
Swimming pool on the Yas Hotel Roof Top

The other choices on Yas Island to try (all located together in the Yas hotel plaza) are:


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:

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This page is in no way sponsored by any of the businesses mentioned. We are affiliates for some of the ticketing services mentioned and hotels. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Feature image copyright Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi. You can read our full website terms of use here