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DreamWorks Studios to Build Theme Park in Dubai


DreamWorks, the Hollywood, California-based studio, has announced plans to build a theme park, its first, in Dubai, UAE.

The park will be more than just rides and shows.  It will include themed restaurants, hotels and stores.  It will span five million square feet and feature rides based on famous characters from the studio's biggest animated hits, such as Shrek and its soon-to-be released Kung Fu Panda.

DreamWorks has joined forces with Dubai property firm Tatweer for the project, which marks the latest in a series of deals between Hollywood production companies and United Arab Emirates developers.

''We are thrilled to bring the first DreamWorks animation-dedicated theme park to Dubai,'' said Jeffrey Katzenberg, president. The park will be built at Dubailand, an entertainment megaplex currently under construction and already being billed as the world's largest tourism, leisure and entertainment complex.

Katzenberg said the theme park would "create an exciting destination where families and tourists will enjoy the unique opportunity to interact with DreamWorks characters and brands.”

DreamWorks is just one of several Hollywood studios that see Dubai as the perfect venue to promote their brands.

Seen as the main vacation destination of the oil-rich Gulf, Dubai draws millions of visitors each year with its year-round sunshine, special events, sports and entertainment venues and its extravagant shopping malls.

Its booming economy and tax-haven status have also attracted large numbers of international businesses, creating a property boom that features some of the world's most lavish and ambitious residential, retail and entertainment developments.  

The DreamWorks theme park announcement follows a similar announcement in September 2007 in which Warner Brothers stated its plans to build a theme park in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital. The development will include a hotel and several multiplex cinemas.

Marvel Entertainment has unveiled plans for a theme park in Dubai featuring Spiderman, the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk.  Nickelodeon signed up to the same project allowing its celebrity characters - SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer - to join the comic book stars.

Meanwhile, Paramount has signed a licensing deal for a series of Dubai-based parks and rides inspired by blockbusters such as Mission Impossible, Top Gun and The Godfather.

In May, Tatweer announced a deal with Universal Parks and Resorts to build Universal City Dubailand. The large theme park will feature rides similar to those found at its Florida and California theme parks based on film hits such as Harry Potter and Jurassic Park.

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