New Dubai indoor theme park to open in December

A Dubai theme park located in the emirate's much-delayed City of Arabia development is to open its doors to the public in December, a spokesman for the company behind the project told Arabian Business.

The 1.2m sqft indoor complex, which is currently under the working title IMG Theme Park, is being built by Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari (IMG) Group and will form part of the City of Arabia on the outskirts of the emirate when complete.

The park will consist of four themed ‘zones’, each containing rides, restaurants and amenities based on licensed entertainment brands. Marvel Comics, which holds the rights to characters including X-Men, was unveiled as the first in June last year. Cartoon Network, which owns intellectual property such as children’s series Ben10, was announced as the second on Wednesday.

“There are two more zones to be released, [one will be] in the next three weeks and other three weeks after that, which are very exciting, equally strong brands,” said Adam Alexander Page, IMG vice president, marketing, told Arabian Business by phone. “We didn’t want to reveal all of them at once, it’s been a staggered release.”

In May last year IMG said that it had secured a shari'ah fund facility for an undisclosed amount from local lenders Al Hilal Bank and Mashreq to finance the project. Page said that the fund would cover the total cost of the project and ensure its completion before the end of the year.

“100 percent there will be no drop-outs because it’s already been ordered and paid for,” he added. “Everything is now in the construction phase, the steel is on-site, the roof is about to be raised up, it’s at an exciting, critical phase.”

Originally launched in 2005, the City of Arabia project was slated to be completed by 2010 but was put on hold when the impact of the global economic crisis hit Dubai's real estate and construction industries.

The US$5bn development, which will become home for 40,000 people, will be a self-contained urban community, with business and administrative offices, schools and clinics, supported by luxury apartments, shops, galleries, restaurants and attractions.

IMG said that the project is still going ahead, but could not provide an update on when it would be completed.

“Those are all still going ahead, the catalyst for the whole development is going to be the theme park, it’s going to be one of the major anchor pieces for the development,” Page said. “The construction is still ongoing in the other parts [of City Arabia], it’s all still continuing at the moment.”

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