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Mon 23 Feb 2009 01:58 PM

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Universal signs deal to bring Sesame Street to Dubailand

Three TV show-themed entertainment parks planned after agreement.

Universal Studios Dubailand on Monday announced it has signed a strategic agreement to develop and build three Sesame Street-themed entertainment venues for the first Universal Studios theme park in the Middle East.

The alliance with Sesame Workshop, creators and producers of the award-winning global children's television series Sesame Street, is part of the plan to bring world-class family entertainment to the region, the company said.

At the centre of this partnership will be three Sesame Street attractions within the Park's Surf City area.

Anchored by Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, a multi-dimensional sensory experience exploring the magic of movie making, the development will feature the Sesame Street characters Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, Grover and Prairie Dawn.

It will be presented in a state-of-the-art 400-seat theatre, fitted with the latest motion base technology.

Khalid Al Malik, CEO of Tatweer Dubai, said: "Our alliance with Sesame Workshop reinforces Tatweer's dedication to introducing internationally renowned brands to Dubai.

"Our collaboration with Universal Studios has allowed us to design and build an extraordinary family destination in the region. Our new partnership with Sesame Workshop will enable us to deliver incomparable family entertainment featuring the legendary Sesame Street experience."

Gary E. Knell, president and CEO, Sesame Workshop, said:  "We are thrilled to partner with Universal Studios Dubailand to create a new home for Big Bird and all his friends. The park offers a remarkable opportunity to share all the laughter and learning of Sesame Street with the people of the UAE and visiting guests from around the world."

The international adaptation of Sesame Street began in the early 1970's and programming in the Middle East began in Kuwait in 1979, with Iftah Ya Simsim, the first Sesame Street co-production in Arabic.

Since then, local versions of Sesame Street have been produced in Palestine, Jordan and Egypt, among two dozen other countries.

Universal Studios Dubailand, now under construction, is scheduled for completion in Dec. 2010.