A vast of array of brands have extended into the real estate sector over the years and the UAE has been a magnet for their wild and wacky designs. Whether it is fashion labels, such as Armani or Versace, or TV channels such as Fashion TV, a lot of plans have been announced. Swarovski recently announced plans for an entire tower, the Sparkles Tower, and Marvel will soon bring its popular characters to live in a theme park in Dubai.
These include a record-breaking resort, jumbo-sized hotel, water park with a difference, fashionable hotel with a French twist, tennis-themed resort and a car brand with entertainment ambitions.
Land of the Giants Resort
Dubai is already set to get Legoland and a theme park with miniature versions of famous buildings and attractions, so why not go the other way and a theme park where visitors are made to feel like ants and full multiple scale versions of everyday rooms? You could take inspiration from the 60s TV show Land of the Giants, the book and movie The Borrowers or the 80s Hollywood classic Honey I Shrunk the Kids, which was the inspiration for theme park rides at Disney theme parks from 1994 until 2010.
Guinness World Records Park
Breaking Guinness World Records is an obsession in the Gulf, so much so that the organisation opened an office in Dubai in 2013. So why not a dedicated park to the various wild, wacky and wonderful records, live attempts at new ones and interactive educational attractions. This already a reality as a Guinness Book of World Records museum was located in the Empire State Building in New York from 1976 to 1995 and smaller versions are currently located in Tokyo, Copenhagen and San Antonio and London, Bangalore, San Francisco, Orlando and Las Vegas had smaller versions.
Dubai Entertainment City
Imagine an attraction where you can walk around sets from popular TV shows, popping into the Queen Vic pub on Albert Square, then to the Rovers Return along Coronation Street, or into the Central Perk to hang with the Friends gang for a coffee. Then the coffee shop down Ramsey Street or the Surf Club in Summer Bay?
Take a traditional maze and ‘search’ your way out of it. But give it a modern twist and brand it Google and use the famous search engine to help find your way out. All while getting some exercise.
Speaking of exercise, why not a Nike-themed hotel and resort with all the latest equipment, dietary information and top of the range sports gear?
Baskin-Robbins theme park
Who wouldn’t want to take the traditional water park concept and turn it on its head by making it icecream? We asked the CEO of the parent company a few years ago about such an idea and they seemed reluctant but we think it could be a big attraction.
Tiffany & Co Hotel
Swarovski has launched the Sparkles Tower in Dubai, Bulgari is doing a resort and Rolex already has a skyscraper, so the most obvious brand to follow suit is Tiffany & Co, then fans of the traditional blue box can immerse themselves in the luxury brand and fulfil their dream to really have ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.
Italian fashion names such as Armani, Versace, Fendi, Cavalli and Missoni have all gone into the real estate business but the French have been slow to follow up with such brand extensions. The biggest fashion name is, of course, Chanel. Coco Chanel lived in the Hotel Ritz Paris (above) in the 30s and there is a now a suite named after her, so why not an entire hotel?
The social media could go fully social with a coffee shop range named after it with all the latest tweets coming up on the walls. Stranger things have happened, even the app Angry Birds was made into a park for kids, so anything is possible.
Renowned for its big Macs and economically priced meals, so why not extend this into the budget hotel sector, which is expanding quickly in Dubai and compete with the likes of EasyHotels? This is already a reality as the first ever McDonald's hotel was the Golden Arch in Zurich, which has the famous logo over the bed.
Vogue and GQ have opened branded bars and cafes, so which global magazine will be the next one? We think Vanity Fair is the most likely and it could easily be named Vanity Fayre?
Warner Bros Theme Park Resort
While Walt Disney, Universal and Paramount have been quick to open theme parks, resorts and branded hotels, Warner Bros has been a bit slower of the mark. However, it will soon be a reality. Warner Bros. Movie World opened in 1991 on the Gold Coast in Australia and has a number of rides based around movies such as Superman, Aliens and Scooby-Doo. In 2007 it was also announced that a Warner Bros theme park was going to be built in Abu Dhabi by Aldar and work has already begun on site, we revealed this month.
Novak Djokovic recently beat Roger Federer at the annual tennis extravaganza in London. While golf is big business and has many resorts and hotels dedicated to it across Dubai and the Middle East, tennis is also a popular sport and Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely considered the most prestigious, popular since 1877. So why a tennis-themed resort named after the sport’s most famous brand name, with its hotel rooms overlooking the centre courts, traditional English food and atmosphere and a succession of tennis stars appearing randomly and owning homes there?
Dubai Airport is the biggest airport in the world and Emirates is one of the biggest airlines, so aviation is big business in the emirate. So why not a hotel inside a plane and why not the A380? Sounds outlandish but it already exists, the Jumbohostel, which opened in Stockholm in Sweden in 2008. It contains 27 rooms inside a decommissioned 747-200 jetliner, with the cockpit room the most expensive. It also contains a café. Check it out at www.jumbostay.se
Volkswagen World Resort
Ferrari World was a popular addition to Yas Island’s entertainment portfolio so there is no reason why other car brands could not follow suit. The most obvious one is the Volkswagen Group as it has a whole host of brands under its umbrella, including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen itself. In addition to the theme park there could also be a hotel with different areas and rooms themed after the different hotel brands. There was once talk of a Herbie theme park in Dubai based on the famous Volkswagen Beetle which had a life of its own. While this never got off the ground as a wider concept Volkswagen would have a lot of potential.