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Wed 4 Jun 2008 04:29 PM

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Madame Tussauds to launch in Dubai

Merlin looking to bring world famous waxworks museum to emirate through partnership with Tatweer.

The world famous Madame Tussauds waxworks museum could be set to launch in Dubai, the CEO of Merlin Entertainment Group has told magazine Leisure Manager.

Nick Varney said the attraction, which is renowned for its lifelike models of celebrities, would include well-known regional figures as well as global names.

"We're very interested in working with Tatweer on more developments," Varney said in an interview.

"We see it as a strategic partnership, we have good relationships with Tatweer and we have a common shareholder right at the top of the tree, so yes, we'd like to discuss with them observation attractions and Madame Tussauds."

Merlin, the second largest attractions company in the world after Disney, operates Madame Tussauds in London, New York, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Berlin.

The news follows Merlin's partnership with Dubailand master developer Tatweer to bring its Legoland theme park brand to the tourism mega-project.

Varney said Legoland Dubailand would be largely inspired by regional icons, with lego models of the Burj Dubai, Burj Al Arab and Pyramids of Giza to be included in its Miniland clusters.

Merlin already operates Legoland parks in the UK, Denmark, Germany and US.

Merlin's observation attractions include the London Eye in the UK and the Pepsi Globe in the US.

Varney said Merlin's ongoing expansion plans included the addition of hotels to some of its premier theme parks to create destination attractions.

He said there were also plans to rollout of Merlin's mid-way brands - Madame Tussauds, The Dungeons, Sea Life, Legoland Discovery Centres and observation attractions.

"At the moment, we're rolling these out at five a year. We've got 120 sites identified around the world so I know we can keep doing this," he said.

For more information on Legoland Dubailand and Merlin Entertainment Group, see the June issue of Leisure Manager.

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