Developer secures funds for Dubai theme park

Al Hilal, Mashreq close facility deal for indoor entertainment plan in City of Arabia project
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 19 May 2012 03:41 PM

Al Hilal Bank and Mashreq said on Saturday they had closed a shari'ah fund facility to help finance a new indoor theme park in Dubai.

Acting as the mandated lead arrangers, they said the funds had been raised for the Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group (IMG) but did not say how big the financing package was.

IMG, which is developing the much-delayed City of Arabia project, said construction of the entertainment project was expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

It said in a statement that IMG Theme Park has entered into agreements with world renowned licensors to use their concepts and characters.

The theme park is planned to have a total built up area of approximately 1.2 million sq ft, and will include one of the region's largest rollercoasters.

More details of the licensing arrangements will be released by IMG Group in the near future, the statement said.

Julio de Quesada, head of corporate and investment banking at Mashreq, said: "We are pleased that we have been able to play a pivotal role in supporting IMG Group's vision in coming up with a landmark project."

Mohamed Jamil Berro, CEO of Al Hilal Bank, added: "We are confident of IMG Group's ability to bring world-class projects to completion and expect this park in particular to strengthen Dubai's claim as a preferred leisure and lifestyle destination."

IMG's co-owner Ilyas Galadari said: "The theme park will be a strategic landmark in Dubai... We're proud of the licensing arrangements we have been able to sign for our park. The theme park will be built to the highest standards with the best vendors being selected to build the rides."

Co-owner Mustafa Galadari added: "A fully indoor facility ensures that the park is open all year round to visitors. The ride mix has been carefully chosen to ensure there is enough to do for all ages. The ticket pricing will be kept competitive and there will be strategic tie-ups with hotels and airlines to drive visitors through our park."

The $5bn City of Arabia project, which will become home for 40,000 people, will be a self-contained urban community, with business and administrative offices, schools and clinics, supported by luxury apartments, shops, galleries, restaurants and attractions.

Originally launched in 2005, it was slated to be completed by 2010 but was put on hold when the impact of the global economic crisis hit Dubai's real estate and construction industries.

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