ABU DHABI (AFP) – The opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park, has been delayed due to the death of a ruler in another part of the United Arab Emirates, organisers said on Thursday.
The postponement until November 4 came after the ruler of the tiny but strategic emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi, died on Wednesday at the age of 92.
The park had been due to be inaugurated on October 27, but it will still open more than a week before Abu Dhabi hosts the eagerly awaited final Grand Prix in this year’s tightly contested Formula One world championship.
Despite the delay, journalists were allowed inside the park which features a record-breaking roller coaster ride meant to emulate the feeling of being in a Ferrari F1 car.
Sitting next to the futuristic Yas Marina circuit that hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the theme park is housed under a massive triangular red roof on the 40-billion-dollar Yas Island development.
Ferrari World spreads about 86,000 square metres (925,696 square feet), while the red roof bearing the world’s largest logo of Ferrari’s prancing horse stretches about 200,000 square metres (2.15 million square feet).
Among its 20 attractions are two roller coasters, including the F1-themed Formula Rossa which is set to be the fastest ever reaching a top speed of 240 kilometres (150 miles) per hour.
Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates capital, hopes the park will help to draw tourists from around the globe along with several other ambitious projects including state-of-the-art branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums.