| ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi has always been considered the quieter emirate when compared to gaudy cousin Dubai.|
But all that could be set to change as the state prepares to welcome an estimated 10,000 tourists a day to the new Ferrari-themed amusement park - billed as the largest in the world.
Tourism chiefs hope the world's fastest rollercoaster - which travels at 149mph in 4.9 seconds, recreating the G-force felt in a Formula One car - and the more sedate life-size Scalextric-style track, will catapult it onto the world stage.
The park is expected to become a good hub for Grand Prix racing fans, particularly as the Formula One race is due to take place there next month, and the United Arab Emirates is said to have ploughed billions into the 861,000 square foot park.
The red roof of the indoor complex is modelled on the side profile of a Ferrari GT and is adorned with the largest prancing horse logo ever created.
'We had only a few malls and desert safaris, we need such thrilling amusements and now we don't have to run to Dubai on weekends,' said Mohamed Mazroui, an Emirates' businessman and racing buff.
Once, Abu Dhabi was known as the more sober neighbour of glitsy Dubai, which made its name with extravagant property projects, outlandish tourist attractions and luxury shopping.
While Dubai spent the past decade transforming itself into a regional hub offering a Western-style nightlife, it remained more conservative when it came to drink and dress.