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.