Dubai theme park on track for Oct opening
Adventure lovers, brace for some thrill rides this October. The Dubai Parks and Resorts has announced that the facility in Jebel Ali is on track to open this year. Construction is progressing well, say the promoters. All the design work is now complete, 88 per cent of overall facilities structure works and 70 per cent of overall infrastructure are also complete.
Lease proposals have been signed for over 50 per cent of the space in the theme parks while close to two-thirds of available units have been leased at Riverland Dubai. Some of the names are The Irish Village, Starbucks and Taste of Italy and new concepts such as the European dining concept Parle and UK originated family dining venue Giraffe.
"During 2015, we continued our drive towards opening Dubai Parks and Resorts to the public in October this year. The pace of construction, combined with the partnerships with globally recognised brands and the growth of the team represent our ambition to deliver the region's first integrated theme park desti- nation to UAE residents and visitors," says Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO, Dubai Parks and Resorts.
Dubai Parks and Resorts will include three theme parks, one water park, a hotel and a retail dining district, spanning 25 million square feet of land.
Dubai is counting on its entertainment and theme parks sector to help it maintain its growth in tourist arrivals, which it plans to nearly double to 20 million by 2020. The park hit a key milestone in October when the first ride was installed - Legoland Dubai's Dragon Coaster. "We have completed 89 per cent of the ride system production, with 16 complete rides delivered," the CEO informs.
There are 13,500 workers on site and 41 contractors working to meet the deadline. Work is onoing to build access roads and multi-lane bridges over Sheikh Zayed Road that will lead into the resort. Transportation within Dubai Parks and Resorts will be delivered by tram systems. In 2015, the park announced partnerships with Lionsgate to bring The Hunger Games and Step Up attractions to motiongate Dubai; Wizcraft International to bring Dubai's first Broadway style Bollywood show to Bollywood Parks Dubai; Picsolve International to develop and deliver park-based photo integrations; and etisalat to provide 'Smart Park' technology. It also signed an MoU with dnata and partnered with Emirates airline.
Dubai Parks and Resorts has also partnered with specialised theme park service vendors, including HB Leisure, to provide over 45 skill games across the theme parks. "As we enter 2016, we are now firmly focused on achieving monthly milestones to ensure we open the destination in nine months' time," says Al Nuaimi. The size of the Dubai Parks and Resorts' team has increased to over 260. They are doing a global audition tour across Mena, the UK and Australia in search of 400 performers.
Projected revenue in the first full year of operation is estimated at Dh2.4 billion with over 5,000 jobs forecast to be generated. Total assets stood at Dh8.6 billion at the end of 2015. The cumulative project expenditure, including acquired land, amounted to Dh5.8 billion, an increase from Dh2.6 billion at the end of 2014.