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World’s Fastest Coaster ...but


for how long? “During practice runs we have probably had it up to 254km/h, but it will always be at least 240,” says FWAD rides and attractions manager Paul Flynn. He’s talking about Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster, and an itegral part of the offering at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Park manager Andy Keeling’s assertion that, “the speed almost isn’t the most important thing” about the Intamin-built ride is fortunate since its bragging rights could be snatched this spring by RingºRacer at RingºWerk, a smaller scale motor sport theme park next to Germany’s Nürburgring F1 circuit.


Rich Allen, CEO of S&S


Worldwide, which built RingºRacer, has gone on record stating, “we are deferring the announcement about Ring°Racer’s operational speed to be made by the Nürburgring at the time they deem appropriate" – suggesting they made ramp it up to steal the record from Ferrari World. “I am sure someone will try to beat us, but I am fairly sure we have a way in boosting the speed and boosting the power,” counters Flynn. “But it’s not just about riding a rollercoaster, it’s about giving people that feeling of being in a race. “ When RingºRacer suffered delays last summer, it was a major setback for RingºWerk. Given the overall quality of Ferrari World, having a slightly less fast coaster shouldn’t be too much a problem, if indeed that’s what happens.


Formula Rossa riders get ready for the launch


Galleria Ferrari provides visitors the opportunity get up close with an ever-changing display of Ferrari cars, lent by their owners: “Many of these people are millionaires so there's not a lot you can give them in return,” notes Flynn, “however I think it's something of a badge of honour to say their car has featured at Ferrari World.”


Throughout the park, there's an Italian theme to many of the park's food and beverage opportunities, including the signature Ristorante Cavallino, complete with private dining areas for UAE royalty. FWAD also showcases the world's largest Ferrari store, complete with an optional personal shopper service, plus a boutique selling personalised branded goods.


Building the park and its rides and attractions presented several challenges, some of which may account for the delays. “One of those was the heat,” explains Flynn. “During the summer we faced reduced working hours. With labour coming from several different countries, sometimes the language barrier can be a problem and you have to sort out things like housing and transportation. All these factors mean things take a little longer than they would in other parts of the world.” Now that it is up and running, the park boasts around 850 full and part time employees. Training


Formula Rossa in action


them was another challenge, but Flynn says he is more than happy with the service offered to guests, which is in keeping with the high levels experienced in the hospitality sector throughout the UAE.


Service With A Smile “Apart from the industry specialists already working over here, there are not many people locally who have experienced a theme park before, let alone worked in one,” higlights Flynn. “From the outset our training was very thorough because we wanted to educate these people into the theme park way of life. The outcome has been even better than we could have anticipated, based on our guest comments. We trained them not to say certain words just because they have to say it; if you say hello you


mean it. We are also very big on empowerment. For instance, if there are guest complaints we try empower that employee to deal with it, whatever it might be. It's their park, and they are quite proud of it.” Getting word about the park out to the wider public has been relatively easy: “Ferrari is a well-known brand,” highlights Flynn, so from that point of view it's been very easy. The message was out there really before we started pushing it because everyone wanted to know what that big red building in the dessert was.”


Fiorano GT Challenge by Maurer Söhne 40


The Fiorano GT loading area DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011


The Formula Rossa train is sprayed with water to cool down between rides


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