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Posted on August 2nd, 2016

Our Changing Landscape – Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 8 billion square kilometers of data. From two pieces focused on Turkey including last month’s look at the construction of Timsah Arena, we move south for a look at the expansion of one of the world’s coolest theme parks, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

The RapidEye Constellation

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers daily revisits to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a starting cost of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

The Expansion of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color RapidEye imagery collected over Ferrari World in the UAE on July 27, 2009, January 8, 2012, April 28, 2014 and April 29, 2016. In this animation, you can see significant changes in the buildings and vegetation that surround the main Ferrari World building at the center of the images. Measuring the April 29, 2016 data, the built-out portion of the site Ferrari World Abu Dhabi occupies is about 19,600 feet across and 13,985 feet top-to-bottom at its widest and tallest points. This would be one cool theme park to visit! (Images Courtesy: BlackBridge)

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a joint project between Ferrari and local builders, Aldar Properties. Located north-west of the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the park is built on Yas Island which is 12 or so miles from the Persian Gulf. Originally conceived in 2005, construction on the world’s largest indoor theme park started on November 3, 2007. The initial opening date was schedule for October 2008, but construction delays pushed the official open back to November 4, 2010 after an estimated build-out price tag of $624 million. The park was created to tell the story of Ferrari and can handle some 10,000 to 20,000 visitors per day (depending on the source you believe).

Here are some facts about Ferrari World Abu Dhabi that our readers might find interesting:

  • The iconic red Ferrari World building covers some 925,600 square feet while its aluminum roof has a total area of 2,152,700 square feet. The volume of concrete used in Hoover Dam could fit inside this huge building.
  • The Ferrari logo on the roof is 213 feet across, which is large enough to put 7 basketball courts inside of.
  • The amount of material used to build the park is mind-blowing with 3,531,400 cubic feet of concrete, 12,370 tons of steel and 40,000 hand-painted trees in the Bell’Italia display.
  • Formula Rossa is the world’s fastest roller coaster, reaching maximum speeds of 149 miles per hour with G-forces mimicking the braking and acceleration of an F1 formula race car.
  • There are 1,200 dining seats in the park which is enough to feed a full-capacity park in just 3 hours.

In 2014, a three-year, three-phase expansion of the park was announced. Seven new rides were to be built during the expansion with three of the original 20 rides undergoing significant renovations. The original phase was expected to be completed in 2015 with the other two phases following thereafter. So then, it is time to turn to the RapidEye archive to track the progress of this expansion as well as check out Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in its original state.

If you would like to find out more about using RapidEye for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at or (303) 993-3863.

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