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Park News

IMG World

before planning anything new. But this is Dubai, where they do things differently. IMG Worlds, the entertainment arm of the Ilyas and


Mustafa Galadari Group, which this summer launched the 1.5 million+ square feet (139,350 sq m) IMG Worlds of Adventure, plans to open a 2 million sq ft (185,800 sq m) extension called IMG Worlds of Legends, comprising nine new lands. Opening is projected for 2020, the year Dubai hosts the Middle East's first World Expo. Whereas Worlds of Adventure features zones dedicated to Marvel, Cartoon Network, dinosaurs (Lost Valley) and the “home grown” IMG Boulevard, Worlds of Legends sees IMG partner with brand owners including Nickelodeon, Ubisoft (Raving Rabbids), Saban (Power Rangers), Mattel, Pokémon, Animé, Toei Animation and TV TOKYO – representing one of the

aving just launched one of the word's largest indoor theme parks, most developers might concentrate on fine-tuning their operation

of Legends Dubai developer announces massive new venture months after opening first indoor park

largest ever global licensing deals in the theme park and attractions industry. Many of the associated intellectual properties (IP) will be making their worldwide theme park debut in Dubai. The new park, which will be open 365 days a year,

will feature a retractable roof and be linked to IMG Worlds of Adventure via a sky bridge. Guests will be able to chose from either a multi-park pass or individual day tickets to each park. Visitors to IMG Worlds of Legends are promised “futuristic interactive rollercoasters, state-of-the-art rides, breath-taking water- based attractions, and spectacular live entertainment” in a temperature-controlled environment, allowing them to escape the desert heat in summer or bask in the sun in winter. As well as the ride and attractions, details of which have yet to be confirmed, 104,000 sq ft of food & beverage space and 102,000 sq ft of retail is promised.

In announcing its ambitious expansion plans barely three months after the August 31 opening of IMG

Dubai Parks & Resorts celebrates official opening

Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts developer DXB Entertainments

Dubai is now officially the largest theme park destination in the Middle East, following the opening last month of Dubai Parks and Resorts, the AED 13.2 billion ($3.5bn/€3.4bn) project that comprises Legoland Dubai, the Motiongate and Bollywood movie parks, plus more. The resort, which opened in phases starting in October, celebrated its official inauguration on December 18 with a special performance at the Riverland dining/entertainment district that

links all three parks. Featuring performers from each of those parks, the ceremony included a live performance of the Dubai Parks and Resorts (DP&R) official theme song All the Wonders of the Universe by composer and academy award winner Alan Menken, who has written the scores for many of the world’s most famous animated movies. A firework finale lit up the sky and the whole thing was screened live on TV and for residents and visitors across the Emirate. The festivity marked the opening of the third park at DP&R, the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate, following the October unveiling of Legoland and November debut of Bollywood Parks Dubai. Both Bollywood and Motiongate are managed for DP&R owner DXB Entertainments by Parques Reunidos, whilst Merlin Entertainments, as you might expect, is at the helm of Legoland Dubai. Opening soon (date to be confirmed at time of writing), will be Legoland Water Park, available either as an add-on to the main Legoland park or for a slightly lower separate admission price.

6 JANUARY 2017

Worlds of Adventure, the Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group is clearly keen to place itself in a strong position as other new parks open across the United Arab Emirates, and also be ready to welcome the many extra visitors expected in the region when Dubai hosts Expo 2020. “We are committed to bringing the boldest, most dynamic attractions to Dubai, combining innovative rides with value entertainment for the whole family,” said brothers and IMG owners Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari in a joint statement. “We are encouraged to look to the future as Dubai races towards fulfilling the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to attract 20 million visitors to the emirate by 2020. We are fast becoming the family entertainment capital of the Middle East with high growth prospects that permit us to plan for the long term.” The full ist of brands appearing at the new park can be found at

The 30.6 million square feet DP&R site, located in Jebel Ali on the eastern side of Dubai (equidistant to Dubai and Abu Dhabi international airports) also features the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian themed family property that is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection. Plans for Phase II of the development include a Six Flags

themed park, expected to open in late 2019. “After three years, it is a very proud moment for us to present the region’s largest

integrated theme park destination,” said DXB CEO Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi at a press preview event ahead of the inauguration last month. “We are immensely proud of the destination we have created for the UAE and its visitors and would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues and partners for everything they have done to bring Dubai Parks and Resorts to life.” In 2017, DXB is hoping to welcome 6.7 million ticketed visits. With the arrival of Motiongate., the DP&R site now offers over 100 rides and attractions, although Park World understands not all are yet fully up and running. With existing attractions such IMG Worlds of Adventure (see above), the

waterparks Wild Wadi and Aquaventure (at Atlantis), plus multiple family entertainment centres including several Magic Planet and Fun City outlets, KidZania, Sega Republic and the new Hub Zero, Dubai's claims to be theme park capital of the Middle East are not without foundation. And there's more to come!

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