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Dubai to be one of the world’s theme park capitals?

New theme parks key to Dubai’s push for more family tourism

When you think of theme park capitals, you’ll probably conjure images of Orlando, Los Angeles, somewhere in Japan, or perhaps even the Gold Coast. Well, how about Dubai?


Arguably the biggest weapon in Dubai’s push for more family tourism will be the theme parks the emirate plans to open in the next 18 months, and beyond. The most significant development, due for completion in October 2016, is Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR), which will boast multiple theme parks including Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai.


“This has never been done before in the world,” DPR destination sales head Elwin Kemming says, “to open three theme parks at the same time. That’s just massive.”



According to Kemming, Motiongate will be all about Hollywood movies “so think Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Madagascar”. There will also be a Lionsgate zone with Hunger Games and Step Up-themed attractions.


Meanwhile, Legoland, with its 60 million Lego bricks, will feature “something very special”.


“Legoland Miniland, which is the whole of Dubai made out of Lego bricks,” he says, with its depictions of the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s famous malls and dhow cruises. It will also be the first indoor Legoland and will even feature a water park.  


Speaking to Traveltalk at the Arabian Travel Market, Kemming said the development was something that “perfectly fits with [Dubai ruler and park co-owner] Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to make Dubai as a family destination, for longer stays etc”.




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Elsewhere, set to open later this year, IMG Worlds of Adventure will be the world’s largest temperature-controlled indoor theme park and the first to feature both Cartoon Network and MARVEL franchises.


The theme park’s general manager Lennard Francois Otto told Traveltalk at ATM that Dubai would be the perfect location for its attraction, situated within four hours of a third of the world’s population. He also said until now there had been a hole in the region’s theme park offering.


That’s a hole that’ll soon be well and truly filled.


Among the other family-friendly attractions the emirate has opened since early 2014 are ‘The Beach at JBR’ (a seaside recreation and entertainment precinct) and the adjacent ‘Arabian Water Parks’, ‘Bounce’ and ‘Jump Boxx’ (Dubai’s first trampoline parks), Burj Khalifa’s ‘At The Top’ (the world’s highest observation deck), and hop-on hop-off ‘City Sightseeing’ tours.


Held annually in Dubai, ATM is the Middle East’s largest travel trade show. Traveltalk was in attendance and stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai.



Images Dubai Parks and Resorts


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 18 May 2015

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