United Arab Emirates-Universal Studios, USA, has announced
that it will develop its fourth theme park. This one
will be located in Dubai, its first in the Middle East.
will be a a $2.2 billion project modeled after Universal's
theme parks in Florida, California and Japan, offering
Mideast vacationers rides, shows and attractions designed
by creative consultant Steven Spielberg and based on
blockbuster movies like King Kong and Jurassic Park.
Tatweer, a government-owned
developer, said it would partner with the Hollywood-based
film studio's resorts arm to develop the facility. "Universal
Studios Dubailand will blur the line between fact and
fiction and be the place where visitors can relive stories
once reserved for the silver screen. Scenes from the
biggest names in filmmaking history such as Jurassic
Park and King Kong will be transformed into adventures."
The theme park will contain four zones including Hollywood
zone, Metropolis zone, and Adventure zone.
Thomas Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks
& Resorts, said, "The vision of the leadership
of Dubai, the investor-supportive environment and the
convenient geographic location of Dubailand, combined
with other strategic and iconic offerings, all contribute
in making Dubai our location of choice for our first
branded theme park in this region."
The 6.5 million square-foot facility will be the centerpiece
of a gargantuan vacation resort district called Dubailand,
which is being built on the city's desert outskirts.
Dubailand itself is being developed as an Orlando-style
entertainment zone with several immense theme parks;
luxury office buildings; posh hotels, condo hotels and
resorts; world-class malls and shopping centers; numerous
restaurants, championship sports venues and upscale
Universal City Dubai expects to lure visitors from Asia,
Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East when its first
phase is completed in 2010.
Because of the searing summer temperatures in Dubai,
most of the resort will be indoors.
Tatweer also plans to develop a nearby resort hotel
zone with nearly 30,000 rooms, as well as a gated community
dubbed "The Tiger Woods Dubai," featuring
the first-ever course designed by the champion golfer.
Tatweer is owned by Dubai leader and Emirates prime
minister, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, through
his Dubai Holding development company.
Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of General
Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, operates similar theme
parks in Hollywood, California; Orlando, Florida; and
Osaka, Japan. Its Dubai franchise will include 4,000
hotel rooms as well as restaurants, shops and offices,