The year 2022 was a fantastic year for Yas Island, despite the fact that the world was still emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. One of its best performances was in the Indian market where the destination overachieved its targets in terms of number of Indian visitors, as the recovery has been very strong. Also, Yas Island deployed the right strategy of using the pandemic slowdown as an opportunity to to make sure that it had the right infrastructure.
To capitalise on its performance Yas Island mounted a high level delegation led by Liam Findlay, CEO of Miral Destinations to India where they met trade and media partners.
Realising that the long haul markets would be slower in revival, Yas Island focused on India and mounted several campaigns, making popular Bollywood star Ranveer Singh as its Brand Ambassador and then rapidly stitched up another deal with American stand up comedian Kevin Hart.
In 2022, for the first time ever, Yas Island also hosted IIFA Awards, which is considered to be top Bollywood gala event and which duly attracted not just the who’s who of the Indian film industry but also hundreds of their fans. Egged on by the success, Yas Island is now repeating the exercise this year as well. By hosting such high-profile events and mounting numerous activities, Yas Island has leap frogged other destinations in terms of number of visitors.
After the famous Ferrari World and Warner Bros that opened four years ago as well as the Etihad Arena, an 18,000-seater multi-purpose stadium, SeaWorld is another mega attraction on Yas Island. ‘‘It is one of a kind, with floor space of 183,000 sqm, spread over five floors.It will have over 100,000 animals belonging to over 150 different species,’’ says Liam Findlay, CEO of Miral Destinations, the holding company that owns and manages Yas Island.
Findlay says that as part of the SeaWorld, there is also an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre as Yas Island places a lot of emphasis on making sure that it gives back to the environment. ‘‘SeaWorld is really about education for the generations to come, about the importance of our marine life and our marine animals,’’ he adds. Yas Island has huge expectations from the Indian market for SeaWorld, he says.