Yas Hotel

  • First hotel to span a Formula 1 racetrack, completed for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2009.
  • Grid-shell façade features 5,000 individually-lit angled glass panels.
  • Doubly-curved 40m bridge on two levels enclosing 980m2 interior space.

Abu Dhabi’s five-star Yas Hotel is the first to span a Formula 1 racetrack. Two hotel buildings on either side of a bridge are linked by a curvilinear 217m grid-shell structure that incorporates a striking illuminated steel and glass veil.

Installed with approximately 5,000 custom-designed light fixtures, the outside of the building can be remotely programmed with vibrant lighting and media sequences that illuminate the racetrack and give the development a dramatic brand image.

Arup was involved in the structural design of the hotel bridge which spans 40m and encloses 980m2 of interior space on two levels. It includes a bar, restaurant and VIP lounge where patrons can watch cars speed past beneath. The exterior of the bridge is a doubly-curved ‘hour glass’ steel shell that forms an integral part of its structure.

This landmark hotel project was taken from start to finish in just 20 months by an international team of Arup lightingstructural engineering and security specialists, working closely with Asymptote Architects and the client.

Innovative lighting was essential to the concept. Arup lighting designers took inspiration from high-performance cars and the motion, line and atmosphere of Formula 1. Opening in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2009, it formed a stunning backdrop to a race which was televised to millions worldwide.


  • Yas Hotel, hotel at night from a distance, lit in blue. Credit Bjorn Moerman Photography.Open gallery

    A grid-shell structure links the two hotel buildings.

  • Yas Hotel bridge and roof, illuminated in pink and blue.Open gallery

    The hotel bridge spans 40m and encloses 980m2 of interior space.

  • View over marina towards Yas Hotel, hotel lit in red. Credit Paolo Castellani.Open gallery

    The outside of the building can be programmed with a variety of lighting and media sequences.