Yas South Integrated Destination Resort

The Yas South Integrated Destination Resort in Abu Dhabi is a visionary entertainment resort district located on the southern tip of Yas Island which includes two hotels, 35,000 m2 of waterfront retail and restaurants situated along a boardwalk promenade, a state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena, gardens and plazas.. The scheme forms part of a much wider masterplan to transform Yas Island in to a one-stop destination for tourism and business.


  • Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE


  • Miral

Project Value

  • ZAR 5.7 million

Project Status

  • Completed 2018


  • Miral Construction Supervision Appreciation Award, awarded to Resident Engineer
  • WSP Africa Project of the Year (2018) Award
Pier Block Placing

Pier Block Placing

WSP was the lead consultant for this entertainment resort development which required various marine civil work components to ensure the Client’s overall vision is achieved. Land reclamation with a vertical seawall edging was required in the current dredged canal to form the foundation of the waterfront retail area where it extends to form a wharf-like pier.  

The vertical edging has been constructed using large precast concrete blocks stacked on top of each other to form an approximately 10 m high vertical face from the seabed to the boardwalk promenade.  

The reclamation works comprise a combination of rock and vibro-compacted sand fill to provide a bearing surface for the retail structure foundations.  The precast blocks are finished off with reinforced concrete slabs forming a cantilever boardwalk on the pier boundary.  Floating berths have been installed on either side of the pier to provide access to water taxis as well as private berths for larger yachts. 

Total reclaimed land
19,700 m² 19,700 m²
Precast concrete elements
2504 2504
Marine piles
23 23
Sand fill
70,000 m³ 70,000 m³
Rock fill
85,000 m³ 85,000 m³
Seabed trench excavation
35,000 m³ 35,000 m³
Piles for Giant Sculpture and Stepped Area

Piles for Giant Sculpture and Stepped Area

Land reclamation was also required for the hotel’s swimming and retail areas.  This area comprises of a circular pool bar facility that is finished off with steps into the water.  The pool bar will have swim-up seating in the swimming pool area and the swimming pool will be constructed to resemble a sandy beach. Cantilever slabs will provide areas adjacent to the water for sun loungers for the hotel guests. 

Two features on either side of the future arena have been reclaimed to provide the public with seating and viewing points onto the canal where yachts and water taxis sail pass in the waterway.  These areas have been reclaimed using precast concrete blocks forming step-like structures into the sea.  

The steps are slightly staggered in height creating an interesting and exciting environment.  Adding to the entertainment resort experience, a sculpture of a giant ‘climbing’ out of the water will be positioned at the eastern stepped area founded on marine piles.

The marine works consulting services included conducting a hydrodynamic and sediment study for the site to ensure that the design criteria used is appropriate as well as ensuring that the development is not detrimental to the environment.

Project Challenges

Some project challenges included: 

  • Fast track project and challenging construction programme
  • Completing marine works design before designs of other assets have started.
  • Constrained site logistics area as the site is located inside another site, namely IPR project, which includes the construction of infrastructure for the whole Yas South District.

Two key moments

  • The design of the support for a sculpture of a giant’s head and hands that will be positioned in the water and partially on the stepped area at the water edge.  Only artistic impressions of the sculpture was available at the time of design and construction.
  • Designing ‘parking’ for a 80m long superyacht, just in case someone sailing past in their yacht would like to stop at the development for some shopping or a stay.