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ABU DHABI-Aldar Properties has unveiled plans for a $40-billion island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The island will host a leisure complex including a Ferrari theme park. The 2,500 ha island, known as Yas, is slated to be completed in 2014. Yas Island will feature tourist attractions including beaches, marinas, entertainment, shopping, hotels, residences, golfing, equestrian facilities and motor racing, project developers Aldar Properties officials said in a statement.

In October Aldar, the third-largest Gulf Arab developer by market value, said it planned to borrow as much as US $4 billion to fund such projects. The property development, management and investment company, founded in 2004, is owned by the Abu Dhabi local government and private shareholders. The firm has several development projects in the works, including the construction of a new Abu Dhabi city district, with an estimated cost of $14.7 billion.

The UAE capital has launched a series of real estate and other ventures with projected investments of $300 billion in an attempt to rival neighboring Dubai, which is becoming a regional business and tourism hub. Developers are already building three palm-frond shaped islands and an archipelago off the coast of Dubai.

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