Competition in Dubai’s leisure industry continues to intensify as more and more people flock to the Emirate. In 2016 the stakes will be raised even higher, with the launch of Dubai Parks and Resorts (DFM: DUBAIPARKS).
Dubai Parks and Resorts is fully primed to become the Middle East’s largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination comprising of 3 separate theme parks and one water park: motiongate™ Dubai, a Hollywood movie inspired theme park concept; LEGOLAND® Dubai, the first LEGOLAND® theme park in the Middle East; LEGOLAND® Water Park; and Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, a first-of-its-kind entertainment destination that will showcase the authentic Bollywood movie experience.
The large-scale AED 10.5 billion project is spread across 25 million square feet of land strategically located on Sheikh Zayed Road close to the Palm Jebel Ali between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
With the continued influx of visitors to Dubai set to continue, 6.7 million ticketed visits are expected in 2017, the first full year of operation.
Dubai Parks and Resorts in the culmination of planning, hard work and creative vision, as HE Abdulla Al Habbai outlines on the corporate website:
“The leadership and vision of the UAE government has always been a source of inspiration, and Dubai Parks and Resorts is a tangible result. Dubai Parks and Resorts is working towards achieving the goals of UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who mandated the development of this unique project that will benefit both the residents and tourists of Dubai.
“As we advance towards completion, I know it will remain a source of great pride for all of us who have been involved in its concept and execution – as it will for the entire population of Dubai and the UAE.
“Here at Dubai Parks and Resorts, we have encapsulated a concept that is both ambitious and truly groundbreaking, which captures the imagination that has shaped the growth of the UAE. While Dubai is already home to the world’s tallest tower, the world’s busiest airport, and a spectacular skyline, we take great pride in knowing that Dubai Parks and Resorts is a major step towards positioning the UAE further as a major global tourist destination, and fulfilling Dubai’s goal of attracting 20 million visitors by 2020.
“Dubai Parks and Resorts has been designed as the first entertainment destination of its kind – simultaneously opening the gates of three unique theme parks in October, 2016, a monumental undertaking in its own right. This project will feature intellectual properties from globally recognised and well-loved movies and brands, bringing leaders and experts from the global leisure and entertainment industry to create a family destination that is expected to draw 6.7 million visits in 2017, our first full year of operation.
“Our goal is to make Dubai Parks and Resorts the foremost provider of world-class leisure and entertainment attractions in the region and, ultimately, across the globe. This aligns with Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 – to be innovative, inspirational, and practical. We are confident that our efforts will contribute to achieving that vision and Dubai Parks and Resorts becoming a source of pride for the UAE. In doing so, we will become an engine for national economic growth by generating robust business opportunities and thousands of new jobs.
“From the very beginning, we were conscious of the need to balance our vision with practicality, recognising the obstacles we would have to overcome while meticulously planning our way forward. Now, close to two years after the idea of Dubai Parks and Resorts was first announced, we are well on our way to bringing this dream into reality – step by step, from drawing board to completed project.
“The benefits of this practical approach are evident. The project is taking shape in the form of advanced site works and construction as we progress rapidly towards our Grand Opening next year, and the creation of a unique destination: a reality that will be shared by many millions of visitors from all over the world.
“With our compelling attractions, Dubai Parks and Resorts is set to capture the significant growth opportunity represented by creating the Middle East’s first premier year-round leisure and entertainment destination.
“Strong demographic growth and favourable economic conditions within the UAE and the wider region will drive strong local demand, and Dubai’s location and world-class tourist infrastructure will support our growth.”
2016 has already proved a watershed year for Dubai Parks and Resorts. In July it was announced that construction has commenced for Six Flags Dubai, the first Six Flags branded theme park in the region, marking the start of phase two of the development.
Scheduled to open in late 2019, Six Flags Dubai will be the fourth theme park at the Dubai Parks and Resorts destination and will include 27 rides and attractions for all ages across six themed zones; Thrillseeker Plaza, Magic Mountain, Fiesta Texas, Great Escape, Great Adventure, and Great America.
Set over an area of 3.5 million square feet with an opening day footprint of 2 million square feet, the estimated cost of the project is Dh2.6 billion.
Six Flags Dubai will feature at least three world record breaking rides in addition to 6 Roller Coasters, 4 Aerial Attractions, a 350-metre River Rapids ride and 3 performance spaces along with many attractions tailored for younger guests.
A month earlier, news came through that the company is set to change its name to DXB Entertainments.
Also in June, it was reported that Dubai Parks & Resorts is set to open its many gates to the public in October this year.
This massive amusement park in Dubai will incorporate motiongate™ Dubai, Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, Legoland® Dubai and Legoland® Water Park.
The Legoland® Dubai park is the first Legoland park in the Middle East and seventh worldwide. It will be an interactive park designed for children aged two to 12.
In late June of 2016, it was revealed that Legoland® Dubai will include 60 rides, shows, water slides, attractions and building experiences.
Dubai Parks said Legoland Dubai will feature 15,000 Lego models across six themed areas: Factory, Lego City, Imagination, Kingdoms, Adventure and Miniland.
Among attractions, children aged three will be able to get a Legoland driver’s licence at the Lego City Driving school while those aged six to 12 will be able to learn about road safety and drive around the city in 45 mini electric cars.
The Dragon Coaster, the park’s biggest ride will stand 16 metres high and reach speeds of 60km/h.
In Miniland, visitors will see recreated scenes and famous landmarks from the UAE and wider Middle East comprising 20 million bricks, including the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
The largest model in the park outside of Miniland will be the Icon Dragon, which took 3,900 hours to build using 395,251 bricks, while the smallest the Minilander will use just 20.
Attractions at the water park will include the Duplo Wave Pool for children two years old and under and the Joker Soaker’s bucket, which will spill 300 gallons of water every few minutes.
The park will also feature a 4D movie theatre that will exclusively show the Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure in the region and a Submarine Adventure home to 2,230 fish, sharks and invertebrates across 60 different species.
Bollywood Parks™ will offer extraordinary entertainment, shopping and dining for those who love the Indian cinema genre.
Similarly, motiongate™ brings characters from DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate to life in true Hollywood style.
The entire experience is brought together by the gateway to The Park, Riverland™ Dubai, which is a free-to-enter retail, entertainment and dining destination with shops and restaurants connected via a walkway.
Guests who would like to take their time to explore the entire DPR theme park destination can stay over at the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed resort catering to families and managed by the Marriott Group.
Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks & Resorts indicated in April that they are on track to achieve ‘The One Thing Goal’ that is to open on time and on budget.
Currently 41 construction companies and more than 13,500 workers are on site to make this goal a reality.
In June DPR announced that his had appointed 744 Emiratis as part of its ambitious Emiratisation programme which aims to hire 1,000 UAE nationals across career levels.
“Dubai Parks and Resorts has launched a major Emiratisation programme to target more than 1,000 UAE Nationals by dedicating more than one third of its jobs to Emiratis,” it said in a press release.
“In line with Dubai Plan 2021 and 7-Year National Agenda, the programme will seek to empower and grow a new generation of talent for the theme park industry, one of the UAE’s mos
t exciting growth sectors.”
“Raed Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Parks and Resorts, said: “Through the launch of this Emiratisation programme we aim to build a significant talent pool of Emirati professionals in theme park operations.
“Building Emirati talent is part of our commitment to accomplishing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to nurture and empower Emirati skill sets in all business sectors.”
He added: “We are setting a new milestone in Dubai’s leisure and entertainment industry through our ground breaking theme parks. However, we believe that alongside our investment in building a robust
leisure industry infrastructure, it is equally important to inspire a new generation of Emirati talent to drive its operations. This is key to the long-term sustainability of the theme park industry in the UAE.””
Dubai Parks and Resorts holds high ambitions: “Our vision for Dubai Parks and Resorts is that it will become a premier year-round global entertainment destination, catering to a wide variety of visitor segments from the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and globally by offering world-class and varied attractions based on an exclusive portfolio of globally-recognised licenced brands.”
The bar has been significantly raised in the leisure and entertainment sector in the Middle East.