The owner of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties, is to sell the newly-opened theme park to the emirate's government just three months after it opened.
The commercial and residential property firm has been forced to offload Ferrari World in order to reduce its debts. The sale, which includes surrounding infrastructure such as roads and bridges, will raise the company $2.97 billion as part of a $5.2 billion overall package from the government. The funds will help restore confidence in the company, which has alarmed investors with the size of its liabilities.
Although Abu Dhabi has been hit less badly by the global recession than neighboring Dubai, falling property prices have still caused major problems for some of its largest companies. A sale to the government (which owns 31% of Aldar) was seen as the only solution, with no other buyers for Ferrari World likely to come forward.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi opened on November 4, 2010, becoming the world's largest indoor theme park. The majority of the Formula One-themed park is hosted in a huge building, which spans 200,000 square meters and is designed to resemble the side profile of the Ferrari GT body.
The park is home to 20 attractions, including the world's fastest rollercoaster - Formula Rossa. Featuring a launch section that propels riders to speeds of up to 149 miles per hour, the coaster is designed to evoke the experience of driving in a Grand Prix.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi was expected to be the first of many new theme parks to open in the United Arab Emirates, with the majority planned for Dubai. However, the debt crisis which has engulged the smaller emirate has caused many of the proposed parks to be put on hold. The highest-profile park, Universal Studios Dubailand, is now scheduled to open no earlier than 2012.
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