Alhasan Kaabous Alzaabi is proud to have played a significant role in developing Yas Island, a passion that’s evident when he talks about it.
“Look at Yas Island now compared with what it was 10 years ago, when there weren’t even roads,” Alzaabi says. “In another 10 years, the world is definitely going to know about it.”
The Emirati father of three earned his engineering qualifications in Britain, and worked in the field before taking up his position of operations support manager for Farah Experiences.
“I love what I do, and want other Emiratis to join me. The development of Yas Island is very exciting,” the 38-year-old says. “I want them to explore our young industry, and play a bigger part in shaping the future of the leisure and tourism in Abu Dhabi. There’s so much to learn.”
When he’s not working to promote Yas Island and its attractions, which include Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit, Alzaabi enjoys his family.
“I love spending time with my family when I can,” he says. “Sometimes I bring my sons [to Ferrari World]. They love it, and the staff help keep them entertained. Then every Thursday night, the whole family gets together. We have a big family, so it’s something I look forward to every week.”
The past few weeks have been busy for Alzaabi, thanks to the opening of the park’s latest attraction, Flying Aces – a 17-storey-high roller coaster with the world’s tallest loop and steepest incline. “The launch event couldn’t have gone any better,” says Alzaabi, whose all-time favourite Formula One star is the former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher. “I had the opportunity to meet him [a few years ago], and he signed my kandura. That was something special.”
Meanwhile, he credits his father with giving him the temperament to succeed. “He told me to always remain calm: by being calm and not showing anger it makes you choose your thoughts and makes you wiser.”
If there was a movie written about your life, who would play the leading role?
That’s a difficult question, but I might say Ryan Reynolds. This guy gives you the feeling that he is always nice, kind and honest, and along with all that, he is spontaneous, funny and sarcastic without being hurtful.
What type of car do you drive, and what does it say about you?
I drive a red Range Rover Vogue. With the way I look after my car and drive it around Abu Dhabi, keeping it clean, in good shape and checked always, I would say it says I’m savvy and sophisticated.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
London. I spent years studying [in] and exploring the country. It has a special place in my heart with its unique culture and multiculturalism.
What's your favourite ride at Ferrari World?
If you had asked me this last year, I’d have said Formula Rossa, but now with the recent launch of the new ride Flying Aces, I think it’s really hard to choose. Each provides an awesome experience and an adrenaline rush.
What's your favourite way to spend a day off?
Because the theme-parks world is such an interesting industry, it keeps me fully engaged, but when I am off, I love to spend as much time with my family as possible. The beach keeps me relaxed and clears my mind.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
I would take my family, a Swiss knife and my sneakers – I love sports.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
It would be to be able to spread love and peace. This would be great so I could stop all the violence happening in the world.
What's your favourite sport to play or watch?
Football, both playing and watching. This sport is amazing when it comes to what you can learn from being a team player. If anyone tries to be selfish and think they can score alone, the whole team loses. It is very inspiring.
What's your all-time favourite movie?
Batman for sure. I really love this movie because it's great to see someone who sometimes puts himself in danger to help others.