Real Estate

Riverpark ... a grand entrance plaza.

Riverpark ... a grand entrance plaza.

Fun and games

November 2014

Dubai Parks and Resorts aims to bring the best of entertainment worldwide, including Hollywood- and Bollywood-inspired theme parks

Dubai Parks and Resorts has now announced a number of plans for its mega leisure and entertainment destination in Dubai, UAE, since unveiling the project in September.

The newly-established Meraas Holding company, which aims to bring to life the Dubai leadership’s vision of positioning the emirate as a formidable global tourist destination, has indicated that it intends to set up a grand entrance plaza known as Riverpark, which will interconnect the three theme parks that define Phase One of the ambitious development.

Taking shape at Jebel Ali, the first phase of Dubai Parks and Resorts will, in addition to Riverpark, comprise three theme parks: motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, and Legoland Dubai. The development will also feature Lapita, a family themed hotel.

Riverpark ... integrating dining and entertainment.

Riverpark ... integrating dining and entertainment.

Ground work commenced on site last February and Phase One is set for completion in 2016.

Spanning an area of 120,000 sq m with a total built-up area of 20,000 sq m, Riverpark will provide residents and visitors with an innovative concept that integrates retail outlets, casual dining options, quick service restaurants, as well as varied indoor and outdoor entertainment offerings.

Amongst the features of Riverpark is a 1-km-long canal that will flow through the development lined with cafés and retail outlets on either side. Water taxis will add to the attraction to help visitors navigate the destination.

A pathway around the canal and garden terraces are some of the added attractions at Riverpark. The plaza will also feature an expansive arena for hosting community events, street entertainment and a range of outdoor activities. A tram route and service roads around the plaza will facilitate easy commute.

Raed Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts, says: “With Dubai looking to double visitor numbers by the year 2020, we believe the innovative retail, entertainment, food and beverage options showcased at Dubai Parks and Resorts will give tourists several compelling reasons to visit the mega destination.”

He says Riverpark will serve as a central meeting point for visitors across the three themed amusement parks as well as guests to the Polynesian-themed family hotel, Lapita.

“The precinct is sure to find resonance with visitors keen to sit back and unwind after an eventful day at the theme parks or to simply enjoy a fun evening with family and friends.”

Offering new heights in experiential entertainment through an inspired concept, Dubai Parks and Resorts aims to bring the best of the entertainment industry from the East and the West. The project is designed to draw five million visitors in its first year of operations, serving the regions within a four-hour flying distance from Dubai.


motiongate ... Hollywood inspired

motiongate ... Hollywood inspired


Dubai Parks and Resorts has also unveiled plans for two of the four zones planned within motiongate Dubai, a Hollywood-inspired theme park. These include a Sony Pictures Studio and Smurfs Zone and a zone themed to DreamWorks Animation characters.

The Sony Pictures Studio and Smurfs Zone will be set up following an agreement signed by the company with Sony Pictures Consumer Products and International Merchandising, Promotion and Services (IMPS). The zone will contain 12 themed attractions inspired by popular Sony Pictures theatrical releases, including ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’, ‘Hotel Transylvania’, ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘The Green Hornet’, ‘Underworld’, ‘Zombieland’, in addition to hosting the world’s favourite little blue characters ‘The Smurfs’.

The second zone featuring DreamWorks Animation franchises, will comprise 12 engaging attractions and new-generation rides, as well as themed dining and retail outlets that provide unique experiences through the use of innovative media and creative storytelling.

motiongate Dubai will cover four million sq ft and is anticipated to attract three million visitors a year. The theme park’s four zones will have a total of 27 attractions, as well as a vibrant retail, dining and entertainment options across all areas. It is set to take visitors on a cinematic journey of discovery, bringing to life some of the most recognisable Hollywood icons from the big screen. The park will leverage latest-in-technology attractions and new-generation rides to offer a distinctly unique, high-value entertainment experience.


Legoland Dubai ... bringing bricks to life.

Legoland Dubai ... bringing bricks to life.


Dubai Parks and Resorts has joined hands with Merlin Entertainments (Merlin), Europe’s Number One visitor attractions operator, to develop Legoland Dubai.

The park will be operated by Merlin and is scheduled to open in 2016. It will be the seventh Legoland Park to open worldwide and the first in the Middle East.

The park will cover a total of three million sq ft and feature more than 15,000 Lego model structures made from more than 60 million Lego bricks. This includes over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions – all set in six themed areas, some of which are already favourites – Lego City, Adventure, Lego Kingdom, Create, Lego Factory, and magical Miniland.

Legoland Dubai will bring the well-known Lego brick to life in a unique interactive world specifically designed for children aged two to 12.

Commenting on the plan, Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, says: “We are delighted to be opening in Dubai and to be working with a partner as innovative and supportive as Dubai Parks and Resorts on this exciting new project.

“Dubai is the most important tourist centre in the Middle East and we believe that it is the ideal place for Legoland. Not only is the Lego concept already very popular here, but Legoland’s unique appeal for families with younger children is universal, making it a must-do visit not just for ‘local’ visitors from Dubai and neighbouring Middle Eastern states, but also tourists visiting the region from all over the world.

Merlin Entertainments is a leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Among its attractions are Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, Legoland, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, Legoland Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye and Skywalk.


Bollywood Dubai ... the world’s first theme park dedicated to the Indian film industry.

Bollywood Dubai ... the world’s first theme park dedicated to the Indian film industry.


Details have also just been released of Bollywood Parks Dubai, a first-of-its-kind entertainment destination that will showcase the authentic Indian movie experience in an interactive format. 

Bollywood Parks Dubai will cover a total of three million sq ft and will host 16 rides and attractions within five movie-themed areas featuring content developed in partnership with Mumbai’s major film studios: Bollywood Film Studios, Mumbai Chowk, Hall Of Heroes, Regal Plaza and Rustic Ravine.

The experience will kick off at the entrance to the theme park on ‘Bollywood Boulevard’ where an ongoing site-wide live entertainment fixture combining dance performances, character interactions and street theatre will keep guests energised and engaged.

Bollywood Parks Dubai will also offer a variety of retail outlets and themed restaurants integrating vibrant elements that are quintessential Bollywood.

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