A Ferrari theme park? This sounds rather naff...
We've already seen Ferrari's licensing skills produce a range of merchandise from sunglasses to laptops - and now it's taking on Disneyland with the prancing horse's very own theme park. The doors will open in 2009 in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and CAR Online has obtained the architect's drawings revealing the plans for the first time.
A large slice of desert on the island of Yas will be reclaimed to host the development, which will include 24 attractions, including a 70-metre high G-Force Tower and what's claimed to be the world's first F1-branded twin rollercoaster ride, allowing races between carriages. Budding Schumachers can try their hand at go-karting and dune buggy racing - and there are bound to be plenty of opportunities to snaffle up Ferrari-branded goodies, too. The plans by Benoy Architects even reveal plans for the Ferrari F1 pitlane experience.
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What else will be there?
This is a massive scheme, including a motor racing circuit destined to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, posh hotels, apartments, villas, a golf course and marina, dozens of restaurants and shops... you get the idea. The whole thing is going to cost around £300 million, much of it stumped up by Middle East developers Aldar Properties. Ferrari CEO Jean Todt has called the site 'an important attraction for fans and car lovers worldwide.'
Ferrari can't be short of a bob or two if it can afford to build its own Disneyland, right?
Certainly. In the last financial year, Ferrari turned over £955 million and made a £120 million profit (up 17 percent.) In doing so, it sold a record 5650 cars around the world. Ferrari is celebrating its 60th anniversary with 60 unique versions of the 612 Scaglietti, each one bearing a unique paint scheme plucked from the Ferrari history books and a panoramic glass roof. It's not quite as exciting as anniversary specials of the past then. Remember the F40?
Has Ferrari gone too far? Shouldn't it concentrate on building proper sports cars? Let us know what you think of the Ferrari theme park by clicking on the 'Add Comment' button below.