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Spotlight: 5 Amazing New
Theme Parks in the Middle
East
EHSAN BAYAT
Spotlight: 5 Amazing New Theme Parks
in the Middle East
 With the decline of the region’s oil industry, a growing emphasi...
IMG Worlds of Adventure—Dubai, UAE
 Dubai has a reputation for superlative real estate, boasting the tallest and most lux...
Six Flags—Saudi Arabia
 Mohammed bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, recently
traveled to the United Sta...
Angry Birds World—Doha, Qatar
 Of the several nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,
Qatar is one of ...
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi—Abu
Dhabi, UAE
 On April 19, 2016, Miral Asset Management, a development firm in Abu Dhabi,
...
Dubai Parks and Resorts—Dubai, UAE
 State-backed Dubai Parks and Resorts opened its new entertainment
destination in 2016...
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Spotlight: 5 Amazing New Theme Parks in the Middle East

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Tourism real estate development is one of the bigger trends in the Middle East, as exemplified by these five destination projects.

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Spotlight: 5 Amazing New Theme Parks in the Middle East

  1. 1. Spotlight: 5 Amazing New Theme Parks in the Middle East EHSAN BAYAT
  2. 2. Spotlight: 5 Amazing New Theme Parks in the Middle East  With the decline of the region’s oil industry, a growing emphasis on tourism has influenced the real estate market in the Middle East. In addition to creating traditional must-see attractions, like museums, skyscrapers, etc., developers have turned to theme parks as a viable solution for generating jobs and encouraging local business.  Whether they are enhancements to established retail properties or entirely new developments, the theme parks springing up around the Middle East have the potential to attract millions of tourists. Large entertainment companies, such as Six Flags and Warner Bros, have collaborated on these projects, affixing their names to the parks in return for a share of the profits.  Some of these parks have already opened, while others are anticipated to reach completion in the coming years. Here are five of the most popular destinations:
  3. 3. IMG Worlds of Adventure—Dubai, UAE  Dubai has a reputation for superlative real estate, boasting the tallest and most luxurious properties in the world. Adding to this list is the IMG Worlds of Adventure, the largest indoor theme park ever constructed.  The Ilyas & Mustafa Galardi Group (IMG Group), a renowned real estate developer in the region, built IMG Worlds of Adventure. Roughly the size of 28 football fields, the new theme park has partnered with Cartoon Network and Marvel, which provide the themes for two of the four zones. The other two zones are IMG creations: IMG Boulevard and Lost Valley - Dinosaur Adventure.  IMG Worlds of Adventure started with 22 rides and attractions, and plans to expand that number to 27, with the five new additions likely to be based on Marvel films. Special arches in the roof absorb the din generated by roller coasters and their screaming riders. The park also offers 28 dining options that follow the themes set by the four zones.  With all of the selections of entertainment on 140,000 square meters of real estate, the average patron will be able to complete 60 percent of the park in a day’s visit. The adult admission fee is 300 AED.
  4. 4. Six Flags—Saudi Arabia  Mohammed bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, recently traveled to the United States to promote and encourage companies to participate in the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative. Among other benefits, the 2030 plan is intended to create job opportunities and revitalize the Kingdom’s private sector.  The Deputy Crown Prince met with executive leaders of Six Flags Entertainment Corp, to discuss forming a partnership. Although still early in the discussion and planning phases, a new Six Flags park is on the horizon for Saudi Arabia. In addition to generating new jobs, the amusement park is an investment in tourism, and the new development is anticipated to yield favorable economic returns.
  5. 5. Angry Birds World—Doha, Qatar  Of the several nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Qatar is one of the best positioned for expanding its tourism presence due to the nation’s real estate success in the retail and hospitality sectors. The upcoming opening of the Angry Birds World theme park in Doha will likely be the first of many innovative amusement parks to be built in Qatar.  Slated for completion in 2017, Angry Birds World features 35 cutting-edge, indoor and outdoor attractions in Doha Festival City mall’s entertainment complex. Developers anticipate that the new attraction will help increase tourism and draw new residents to the area.
  6. 6. Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi—Abu Dhabi, UAE  On April 19, 2016, Miral Asset Management, a development firm in Abu Dhabi, formally announced plans to build a Warner Bros theme park on Yas Island. The project will cost approximately $1 billion, and the team at Miral is aiming for a 2018 completion. Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will feature 19 different rides, a hotel with Warner Bros themes, and several multiplex movie theaters. The new park will sit alongside the Ferrari World theme park, also operated by Miral.
  7. 7. Dubai Parks and Resorts—Dubai, UAE  State-backed Dubai Parks and Resorts opened its new entertainment destination in 2016. The development surrounds a Polynesian-style resort called the Lapita Hotel Dubai and features a water park and three theme parks: Riverland, Motiongate (a movie-themed park), and Legoland.  One of the most anticipated features of Dubai Parks and Resorts is yet another record for Dubai: the world’s biggest roller coaster. Six Flags, the company that build the tallest roller coaster, will help bring the biggest one to the UAE . Early projections show that with all of the new theme parks being built in the UAE, the nation may soon attract enough visitors to rival Orlando, Florida, which boasts nearly 60 million tourists annually.

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