Exclusive first look inside: W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is now open

The hotel has opened a week ahead of Abu Dhabi F1, Yas Island's busiest weekend of the year

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The W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island has opened a week before Yas Island’s busiest week of the year.

The first W Hotel in the capital is now the only hotel in the world to be located atop a Grand Prix racetrack.

With an exclusive location between the racetrack and the marina, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is set to be at the heart of the action when the Etihad Airways F1 Grand Prix kicks off on Thursday November 28.

Click through the gallery above to see inside the hotel. 

Taking over the site that was formerly home to the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi and the Yas Viceroy Hotel, the W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island comes with a plethora of new spaces and the hotel brand's signature design.

"It's bold, witty, very experimental and still luxury," Faiek El Saadani, general manager at the hotel, told The National on the hotel's first official day of operations.

Old and new

The giant W icon outside the front of the hotel was unveiled earlier today.

Inside, there's an interesting story at play as bold, colourful design fuses with elements of traditional Arabia.

"This is the capital of the UAE so we wanted to make sure that the culture is embodied in the narrative," explains El Saadani.

In the Living Room, which most people would refer to as the reception lounge, there are hanging structures inspired by oil drops and a wooden structure evolved from the shape of a felucca boat. The nose pedals that the pearl divers used to wear and the flowing black lines of the abaya worn by Emirati ladies also feature in the design.

If you’ve stayed at the hotel before, either when it was the Yas or the Viceroy, you’ll be familiar with the guest rooms as not much has changed. Only the amenity kits, mini-bar, towels and coffee machines have been revamped but the hotel has plans to renovate all 499 rooms by the middle of 2020.

A new dining concept

Garage is the hotel's new food hub that’s home to a cluster of outlets. It's got a similar vibe to a hip foodhall that you might find in a big European city. Inside, there are five restaurant concepts including Meat Vault, Steam Table and Mezza Bar.

Nikkei House at W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island. Courtesy W Hotels

At the top end is Nikkei house – a Japanese and Peruvian eatery where the sleek dark colours of a high-end Asian eatery sit side by side with the playful tones you’d expect from a south American haunt.

For dessert, The Tart Van is an entire food truck dedicated to tasty-looking tarts. Diners can sit anywhere and order from any of the outlets and the sharing concept is strong.

F1 weekend

Upstairs on the ninth floor, WET Deck is the hotel's new alfresco venue and comes with fantastic views of Yas Marina Circuit. It's also where an extensive line-up of DJ's will perform poolside during this years Formula One. It's small, or boutique as the W team say, but is set to play host to DJ's from Ibiza and Germany during F1 weekend. It's also an adults-only space, children and families have their own pool on the other side of the hotel.

Dubai's Ramusake will host a pop-up brunch at W during F1 and there will be events taking place throughout the hotel including in the W Lounge and Garage.

Rates at W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island start from Dh478 per night, www.marriott.com