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MARKET REPORT: MIDDLE EAST The opening of KidZania Doha is also


now expected in 2019. Given that this will bring the number of children’s role play centres in Doha up to three, its going to be interesting to see how well they all perform given the small size of the market! Another mall leisure project, also now


expected to open in 2019 is the 28,000 sqm, US$ 300 million Wonder Dome indoor theme park, previously called Adventure Land, at the Oasis Mall, part of the Musheireb, Heart of Doha project. Originally announced to open in 2016,


the exciting news is that the new National Museum of Qatar designed by Jean Nouvel opened to the public on 21 March 2019 Looking beyond 2019, however,


Qetaifan Water Park, which is expected to open in 2022, is being built as part of a luxury four-star resort on an island off the coast of Lusail and is the only notable project in the pipeline. As in the UAE, there were no new


attraction projects announced in 2018. Not surprisingly, perhaps, as Qatar


focuses its efforts on projects related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Al Wakrah Stadium reported as being close to completion and the first line on the metro


expected due to open in 2019, with the rest in phases up to 2022 and beyond.


KUWAIT The most notable attraction openings in Kuwait in the last 12 months were all located in shopping malls. For example, TEKZONE, an e-sports and VR centre, opened at The Avenues in 2018 and is getting great reviews. 2018 also saw the opening of Kuwait's


largest waterfront leisure destination, Al Kout Waterfront. The US $410 million, 30-hectares project, which has a 1.6 km seafront, offers six different experiences. This includes Al Kout Mall, which houses an Infunity Family Entertainment Centre and Q8 Karting, the largest indoor track of its kind in the Middle East, the latter of which is expected to open in 2019. Looking ahead, exciting new designs are


being created for the 2019 redevelopment of Cartoon Network World by Futurekid, the largest attraction operator in Kuwait, but there are no recent updates on the re- opening of Kuwait Entertainment City which closed in 2015 for “major refurbishment.” Kuwait Entertainment City is reportedly being expanded to include a sports park, a water park and hotels with the main


Laguna Water Park, at La Mer


entertainment offer due to open by the end of 2021. The really big announcement for Kuwait


in 2018, however, is Silk City, a 250 sq kms new city with a 25-year development plan that is expected to cost US$ 86 billion. Details of what the project will offer have still to be released but leisure & entertainment are sure to have an important part to play in the development.


OMAN The 8,000 sqm Oman Aquarium is expected to open when Mall of Muscat (previously called Palm Mall) opens in April 2019 but the 5,000 sqm Snow Park Oman also being developed as part of the mall, is now not expected to open until 2020. Progress on Majid Al Futtaim’s 137,000


sq m Mall of Oman project, which will include an 8,000 sq m indoor snow centre and a Little Explorers edutainment centre, is understood to have aslo slowed. The mall, which was scheduled to open in 2020, is now expected to open later but with no new date yet announced. A number of high-profile, Government-


led tourism related projects in Oman also continue to make steady progress, albeit also at a relatively slow pace. Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project in the Port Sultan Qaboos area in Muscat and Hayy Al Sharq, a 1.5 million sqm world- class theme park complex in Barka both report progress in 2018, for example, but are quiet on potential opening dates. By comparison, however, the Oman


Botanic Garden designed by Grimshaw Architects, Arup & Haley Sharpe Design for a 420 hectares site 35 km north of Muscat is still not reporting any progress or opening date. Likewise, a recent report indicates that the geotechnical investigation for the US$


2 billion Yiti Resort Project, which is to include a range of adventure and activity


28 PARK WORLD Handbook & Buyers Guide 2019


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