32,516 square metre indoor family entertainment centre in City of Arabia will open its doors by the end of 2013 after long standing delays and hold ups, developers say
Dubai will soon play host to an inter-galactic alliance of superheroes as the license agreement to build a massive indoor theme park was agreed between Marvel Entertainment and the Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari (IMG) Group on Tuesday.
Spanning 32,516m2, Marvel Adventure is a family entertainment centre that is scheduled to open its doors by the end of 2013.
Positioned at the City of Arabia development along Emirates Road, the project will contain ‘interactive entertainment experiences with Marvel characters’ and retail outlets selling official Marvel merchandise. Restaurants and food outlets will also be developed within the complex, said the IMG Group in a statement.
“This will be one of the region’s largest temperature controlled entertainment destinations that IMG is developing, which is sure to be a strategic landmark for Dubai, appealing to the region, as well as other parts of the world,” said Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari of IMG Group.
However, the company declined to reveal the value of the project, confirming only that it would be building and operating the park, Gulf News, a UAE based daily newspaper, reported.
While industry analysts predict that it is the right time for the Marvel project to enter the market, they cautioned against it having the over-the-top expectations that were prevalent throughout the boom years.
David Camp, director of Economics for Europe, Africa and the Middle East at AECOM, a US owned design consultancy with operations all across the globe, said that while the continuous inflow of tourists into Dubai would boost demand for these types of theme parks, there would be major challenges along the way.
“The challenge with new leisure developments is that they are very expensive to build. They need to make sure the costs and budgets are appropriate to the scale of demand,” he told the newspaper.
“Following the outstanding global and local box office success of Marvel’s The Avengers, and the strong affinity for Marvel in the UAE, we are thrilled to be working with the IMG Group to bring some of Marvel’s most popular characters to kids and families across Dubai,” said Simon Philips, president of Marvel Entertainment International.
The overall facility for the themed entertainment destination will be in excess of 111,483m2 in its first stage and will be the largest temperature controlled indoor entertainment destination in the world. It is designed to attract 10,000 plus visitors per day. A unique facility of this magnitude will also generate a significant demand, in the vicinity, for hotels and hotel apartments, along with other retail and leisure components.
The City of Arabia project has been delayed for a number of years, along with plans for the Marvel Theme Park, because of the global financial crisis, which stalled a number of Dubai’s major construction projects.
According to AECOM’s Theme Index 2011, two of Dubai’s amusement parks were ranked amongst the top 20 in the world.
Dubai’s Aquaventure ranked eighth overall, while Wild Wadi came in at number thirteen on the list, the Index said.