From what I understand, there has been a sort of rivalry between Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a while. Even though Dubai has been in the lead for a while, Abu Dhabi seems to have overtaken. In my mind, building the Formula One track on Yas Island and bringing the race here was the point where Abu Dhabi really surpassed Dubai.In this image, taken from this website, you can see both Ferrari World and the Formula One track next to it.
Here is a closer view of the Yas Hotel at night taken from this website. The Yas Hotel is the only hotel in the world with a Formula One track running through it. They run things like production car races, and a racing school. In addition, there has been a weekly cycling event run on the track since March. Recently the organizers have been extending the hours and turning on the lights for the cooler (?) evening hours.
Next to the track is a large concert and event venue. During last year's Grand Prix, there were a series of concerts held there: Beyonce, Aerosmith, The Kings of Leon, and Jamiroqui. In that same venue, they held UFC fights.
Yas Island is being built up as an entertainment island and they're working on the infrastructure to make that viable. Right now, it's mostly vacant apart from a few hotels, a Formula One Track and an amusement park set to open later this year. The track itself is a pretty good draw and has loads of events. Hopefully in a few years it will be developed enough to make staying in one of the hotels at any time of the year worth it.