By Andy Sambidge
Al Hilal, Mashreq close facility deal for indoor entertainment plan in City of Arabia project
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.
Well done Galadari's....Good luck with your venture
I thought this City of Arabia project had been dead and buried for years.
Announced in blazes of glory and fanfares in every mall, newspaper and magazine but then that excuse for all to save the day, the "economic crisis" kicked in.
Profound, sound, or not, resurrection strikes in unfamiliar tomes.
Someone in charge needs to look into all the projects that are on hold before announcing any new ones please.The mass needs to be cleaned in Dubai and Ajman.Thousands of investors still chasing their money.
Its simple, announce a project, do off plan sales, collect 20% and then delay the project as investors try recoup their lost funds.
Sorry yani, but it is obvious you are out of touch with whats going on. Off plan sales are dead, gone - no one in their right mind will buy anything off plan. So no, its not simple.
Nope, alive and well, but more cautious. Wadi Tower and Wadi Walk are under construction. Soon the theme park will be as well. From there who knows....the way international brands are fighting for retail space in Dubai it is just a matter of time before Mall of Arabia is back on the drawing board.
This is backed by a huge UAE family and is not one of the fly by night developers who launched one off towers where investors lost their life's savings. Everything in due course....
Excellent move in the right time and right direction as Dubai hotels showing good occupancy rates now. I have recently visited Malaysia Gentling highlands which is a big theme park and very much active and full rush. I donâ€™t think there is any park park near in that size in this part of world even in India and if Galadaries can do a similar one here in Dubai it will be a very big success.
The project will never be built. Just do a simple search for "City of Arabia" on the internet, you'll see hundreds of investors are after their money now for 6 years! Also in property community website you'll be reading a lot of posts all complaining about Galadaris and the project. Sounds like galadaris are no longer responding to their investors, and in fact nothing's going on in the project site. At the construction site you'll see only sand! Despite 7 years have passed since they started the project!
Craig I understand your frustration I have invested in 3 apartments in wadi tower but your information is incorrect there is work going on in city of Arabia wadi tower is in the process of getting the cladding and glass on the outside also most of the plastering in the apartments is completed.wadi walk phase 1 is getting built the ground work started on restless planet near 2 months ago. They have decided to make restless planet bigger than originally planned taking some of the mall space. You can forget the mall and any other tower getting built for at least another 2 years I like you and all investors have been angry and frustrated I used to wright on the forum under name tony l but stopped writing when things came to a halt on construction I live in the villas next to city of Arabia and call on site every week I will post pictures on forum in about 4 weeks time city of Arabia has not stopped wadi tower wadi walk phase 1 and restless planet will get built as for the rest no chance.
You may have noticed that the core business at Genting is gambling, with the resort built around the demand from Chinese tourists to while away their time in the resort's smoke-filled casinos. I don't see the UAE authorities allowing the development of casinos at City or Arabia. City of Arabia may well work - once tourists are done shopping there is nothing else to do - they just need to make sure it can operate all year round.