Plans unveiled for movie-based theme park in Dubai

$600m Dubai Adventure Studios developed by Merass will be completed in 2014

The AED2.2bn ($598m) project will host major US-based movie attractions

The AED2.2bn ($598m) project will host major US-based movie attractions

Work is scheduled to start early next year on a new $600m movie-based theme park in Dubai, real estate firm Merass announced on Tuesday.

The first of three phases of Dubai Adventure Studios will start construction in early 2012 and the eight million square foot project will be located close to the Arabian Ranches intersection in Dubai.

The AED2.2bn ($598m) project will host major US-based movie attractions and is scheduled for completion by 2014.

Five zones featuring the latest-in-technology games and new-generation rides will be included and details of the project will be showcased at Merass’ stand at the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition later this summer.

“Meraas recognises the need for a theme park in Dubai that will complement the UAE’s growing popularity as a tourism hub. Dubai Adventure Studios will offer a truly unique experience that will set a distinctive benchmark in the evolution of the theme park industry,” said Sina Al Kazim, chief business development officer at Meraas Holding.

The president of UAE conglomerate BinHendi Enterprises earlier this year said Dubai needed an entertainment resort on the size and scale of Disneyland if it is to establish itself as a global tourism destination.

“We need an entertainment anchor for the family, something like Disney but not Disney. If we have a project like this in Dubai, we have an anchor for the whole of the world,” Mohi-Din BinHendi said. “There is a big gap between Euro Disney and Tokyo Disney. There is a craving for an entertainment anchor [in this region].”

Earlier this month, plans were unveiled to build a major new theme park in Abu Dhabi, with more than 25 rides on five themed islands. Adventure World Abu Dhabi will be built in partnership with Adventure World Poland which has similar plans for Warsaw.

A total of 25 attractions will include a water park, entertainment area with restaurants, shops and clubs, super coasters, wave pools, interactive fountains, boat cruises or carousels, the statement said without giving further details.

Over 100 experts in theme park construction will be involved in the development of Adventure World Abu Dhabi, the developers said in a statement.

In September, it was announced that the $165m Yas Water Park, one of the key attractions on Abu Dhabi's $40bn Yas Island, is back on schedule to open in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The water park will have an Emirati theme and will follow the adventures of a young Emirati girl in search for an exquisite pearl.

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Posted by: Mickey Mouse

Annonymous: come out come out whereever you are and receive your award. You've hit the nail on its head!

Red Snappa: I've seen many of your comments on different articles, you used to hit the nail on the head... Not this time though...

I am all for an entertaining, first-rate delievered theme parks... But please make sure you do it right.... Dont succumb to the typical immature PR release and empty delivery following that...

Posted by: Red Snappa

My dear Mickey Mouse,

I agree with you and Anonymous wholeheartedly, if you have that much money to spend on a theme park, my question was from where? - you should by rights be throwing it at the experts. Universal are unquestionably a market leader and they'll not just do it for a longer term share of the profits you pay for their expertise first.

My other point a trifle tangential I admit, was that the European visitor count will be well down from an economic point of view and remiss of me though it was, if the end product is a mediocre second class shadow of a real top drawer theme park then they won't come anyway.

My own view was that the money would be better spent on finishing off the Restless Planet at City of Arabia, Dubailand ready to roll. That was a genuinely good idea and every child I know is into dinosaurs at some point as are most adults who watch TV channels that cover the Triassic and Jurassic periods. Although forget the Mall of Arabia which would be excessive

Posted by: Anonymous

I do not understand why any investor would not want to go with a proven theme park operator like Universal Studios instead of throwing their money to an unproven venture? Ferrari World is a disaster, a waste of money, and a disappointment for most who visit. I hope this Dubai theme park has enough rides to keep children entertained for hours. Ferrari World is a bore after an hour. Theme parks should offer all day entertainment options to justify their admission charges. Hopefully Dubai will learn something from Abu Dhabi's mistake...

Posted by: Red Snappa

Might one ask where all the funding is coming from for the new entertainiment park, given the general prevailing level of debt to be repaid over the next few years.

Also now the new European Union's carbon emission tax on foreign airlines has been upheld by the European Court of Justice, that means that the cost of European visitors to travelling to Dubai has just gone up and the profits of Middle East Airlines down. 27 countries some with multiple routes to different cities is not an a small consideration.

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