DUBAI PARKS & RESORTS
Dubai Parks & Resorts LLC, a Meraas Holding company
Amusement Resort complex featuring Riverland Dubai retail / dining area, the Lapita Hotel, and several theme parks:
MOTIONGATE Dubai (Opened Dec. 16, 2016)
BOLLYWOOD PARKS Dubai (Opened Nov. 15, 2016)
LEGOLAND Dubai - (Opened Oct. 31, 2016) & LEGOLAND Water Park (Opened Nov. 15, 2016)
SIX FLAGS DUBAI - Now Under Construction To Open in Late 2019
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(9/9/17) Motiongate Dubai - The Hunger Games Coaster Seen Testing (MORE...)
(8/28/17) Motiongate Dubai Ready To Open Lionsgate and Hunger Games Attractions Soon (MORE...)
(8/11/17) Dubai Parks & Resorts Posts Poor Six Month Results (MORE...)
(5/2/17) Motiongate Dubai Opens How To Train Your Dragon Land (MORE...)
Resort News - (8/11/17) According to the local news DXB Entertainments, the company behind Dubai Parks & Resorts reported that for the first six months of operation the combined attendance at the theme parks (Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai) was just 1 million. This is considerably behind the company's target of hosting 6.7 million guests in the first 12 months, but to be honest, I really felt that figure was a little too high to be attainable in the first place.
To be fair, it is worth mentioning that while the first of the three parks (Legoland) opened on Oct 31, 2016... the third of the parks (Motiongate Dubai) did not open until Dec. 16th, and even then it opened with a limited slate of attractions, as the park's is still working on finishing up the last of the themed lands which will be themed to The Hunger Games film series. Now while I just pointed out why their attendance could have been soft in the first quarter due to limited operations, apparently things only got worse over the second three months, which saw only 414,000 guests come through the gates, though lower attendance was expected in the hot summer months. This makes me curious however, having never visited Dubai myself, about when exactly are the busiest tourist seasons for Dubai.
For the remainder of the year they will be focused on driving up attendance, increasing return visitation from the local market, and revising their pricing structure to offer more value, plus offer special offers, additional discounts and benefits to annual passholders.
I found it interesting that in one of the comment they mention a "proposed Legoland Hotel" and not a confirmed Legoland Hotel, which means that they will likely hold off on starting this project until they can stop the financial bleeding and get their guest numbers up. Meanwhile it was also mentioned that Six Flags Dubai is still on track to open in late 2019.
(2/15/17) According to a press release from DXB Entertainments PJSC and Merlin Entertainments Group, the Dubai Parks and Resorts project will soon be home to a LEGOLAND Hotel. The new 250-room hotel will be placed next to the new LEGOLAND Dubai theme park and feature Lego themed rooms, a Castle Play Area and more. The deal is described as a 60/40 joint venture (with Merlin being the 40%), but Merlin will also be in charge of the operations of the hotel as they are with the LEGOLAND parks.
(12/28/16) A new collection of photos from the Dubai Parks & Resorts area (and a video) has been posted to ThemeparX this week.
BOLLYWOOD PARKS Dubai (Opened Nov. 15, 2016)
Park News -
(9/8/16) According to this article at Attractions Management Triotech is making an interactive dark ride for Bollywood Dubai that will be based on "Sholay", a 1975 adventure film.
Meanwhile another article described another one of the park's attractions as a 4D Flying Theater ride called Krrish: Hero's Flight, themed to the Bollywood film, Krrish about a masked superhero style character.
(6/16/16) More details about the attractions within the Bollywood Dubai theme park were released and can be found here. A few items of note: Guests will enter into Bollywood Boulevard which will give access to four other themed zones: Mumbai Chowk, Rustic Ravine, Royal Plaza and the Bollywood Film Studios. A highlight of the Mumbai Chowk area will be “Don: The Chase”, an effects ride that will bring the car-chase from the film to life. An area called “Lagaan corner” will look like a carnival with a ferris wheel and midway games, and will also feature an interactive ride called “Sholay The Hunt for Gabbar” where the riders will be able to fight the “bad guys”.
(3/30/16) According to a press release Dubai Parks & Resorts has tapped The Producers Group to help bring the Bollywood action film "DABANGG" to life at the new Bollywood theme park.
“Bringing the elaborate Dabangg movie stunts to a live show is a challenge requiring precise choreography of live actors with high-end gear, special effects and complex technical integration,” said Dubai Parks & Resorts Chief Technology Officer Matthew Priddy. “We selected The Producers Group because they have the technical skillset as well as the experience of keeping this kind of unique project moving with an international team on a tight schedule.”
To be brutally honest, I get MotionGate, I get Legoland Dubai... but "Bollywood" is something I have no experience with at all. I guess I was always under the impression that all "Bollywood" films were some kind of musical productions, but based on the tailer for the first Dabang film (watch here) this definately looks more like a stylized action film... almost like an India made version of Robert Rodriguez' Desperado, with some choreographed musical scenes mixed in.
So what is Dabangg? According to the press release the first film came out in 2010 and they are currently working on Dabangg 3 at the moment, so this is a very current film series. The live stunt show will go into the park's Rustic Ravine zone.
LEGOLAND Dubai (Opened Oct. 31, 2016)
Park News -
(5/4/16) To date we really haven’t heard much about exactly what attractions will be included inside the new LEGOLAND Dubai theme park opening this fall. According to this article we know of at least one large ride that will be there… a copy of the chain’s popular “Lost Kingdom Adventure” interactive dark ride, taking riders on an adventure through the ruins of an Egyptian temple in search of the lost treasure of the Pharaoh. This will be placed in the “Adventure” section of the park.
It is worth mentioning that the park’s official website is also now open which confirms that the park will have six lands and has confirmed a few attractions so far:
Factory - Park Entrance area, full of shops, but no attractions listed.
LEGO City - The Shipyard, Boating School, Driving School, Junior Driving School, LEGO City Airport, Rescue Academy, LEGO City Stage, Police Headquarters
Imagination - Kid Power Towers, LEGO Technic Twister, DUPLO Express, LEGO Studios 4D Theater, a Build & Test area, LEGO Masters Builder Academy, LEGO Mindstorms, DUPLO Playtown and LEGO Friends Clubhouse.
Kingdoms - Castle, The Dragon (coaster), Dragon’s Apprentice, Merlin’s Challenge, Merlin’s Flying Machines, Builders Guild, and the Castle Stage.
Adventure - Submarine Adventure, Lost Kingdom Adventure, Beetle Bounce, Wave Racers, The Secret Chamber of Amset-Ra and Pharoah’s Revenge.
Miniland - Explore Miniland, no other attractions here.
MOTIONGATE DUBAI (Opened Dec. 16, 2016)
Park News - (9/9/17) A couple of photos of The Hunger Games themed Capital Bullet Train coaster making test runs at Motiongate Dubai were posted to twitter yesterday. Check it out below.
(8/28/17) According to this news report from BlooLoop, Motiongate Dubai will be ready to open the new Lionsgate themed zone this winter, which will include the Hunger Games themed area attractions: The Capital Bullet Train roller coaster and The Panem Aerial Tour.
Other new free events coming to Dubai Parks and Resorts this winter include a line-up of special events at the Riverland including Circus on the River, Pets of the River as well as numerous live entertainment and special dining opportunities. Follow the link to read the full report.
(5/2/17) TravellerCzech has posted a new update showing off the newly opened How To Train Your Dragon land at Motiongate Dubai inside the DreamWorks attractions building. The zone contains three separate attractions: The Swinging Viking (swing ship), Camp Viking (kids play area) and the Dragon Gliders suspended coaster/dark ride experience.
(4/28/17) MotionGate Dubai is preparing to open another unique attraction called Dragon Gliders, an indoor themed dark ride / inverted coaster experience themed to the How To Train Your Dragon movie series that will use the same unique Inverted Powered Coaster system from Mack Rides that they used for the Arthur ride at Europa Park in Germany. A preview video of the new attraction's creation was posted to YouTube this week which looks quite impressive.
(3/13/17) TravellerCzech reports that the Kung Fu Panda themed Unstoppable Awesomeness attraction at MotionGate Dubai is now open. You travel through a well themed queue and through two pre-show rooms before boarding the 3D simulator ride themed as a wild boat ride. Follow the link to see photos and more details about the ride hardware.
(2/18/17) According to a tweet from Travellerczech, the Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls River Expedition ride at Motiongate Dubai is now open.
(1/18/17) An impressive picture of the Capital Bullet Train (Hunger Games) themed coaster under construction at Motiongate Dubai was posted on Twitter yesterday. Check it out below. NOTE - Just a quick note that the photo we found posted to Twitter showing off the latest look at the Hunger Games coaster was actually lifted from the ThemeParks.ie Facebook page. Just giving credit where credit is due.
(1/8/17) Motiongate Dubai has opened their DreamWorks Zone and TravellerCzech was on hand with camera to show it all off for us. Unfortunately not every ride or attraction inside the indoor DreamWorks area was up and running yet, with some still very much under construction apparently. They report that the How to Train Your Dragon area is still under construction and closed off from view, but Shrek, Madagascar and Kung-Fu Panda areas were open... but again, not all the rides and attractions are operational yet include the Kung Fu Panda Unstoppable Awesomeness (4D Simulator) and Shrek's Merry Fairy Tale Journey. Based on the photos however, the themeing inside this all indoor attraction zone is really top notch looking and worth taking a look at. They also described the Madagascar Mad Pursuit ride (a launched indoor dark coaster) as being "easily the BEST RIDE of the park."
(12/19/16) According to the latest bit of info from Motiongate Dubai, the Sony themed area of the park has switched over to use the Columbia Pictures name instead. And for those interested in the dark rides open at the park, I'm told that all three (Smurfs, Ghostbusters and Hotel Transylvania) appear to use the same style slow moving ride system. Unfortunately the early word is that all of them are fairly basic in execution, including the early touted Hotel Transylvania ride which was reported as having lots of detail, but so far appeared to have virtually all static figures. That said, I did hear a report or two claiming to have seen what looked like some exposed wiring awaiting something in a few scenes so perhaps the ride is not 100% complete just yet, with other additions still on the way in the future to enhance the ride experience.
Special thanks for TravellerCzech.com for letting us borrow of few of their photos of the Hotel Transylvania dark ride experience with otherwise seems to have nailed the characters pretty spot on with the figures they do have.
(10/31/16) Taken just a couple of days ago, several pictures of people previewing the Dubai Parks & Resorts attraction area have been posted to Travellerczech.com with a good look inside the Legoland Dubai theme park, as well as a look around Riverland and even a peek at the Hunger Games themed Capital Bullet Train coaster ride (from Mack) which is still very much under construction at this point.
(7/16/16) A little more information has been released about another Motiongate Dubai attraction, this one called Ghostbusters: Battle for New York. The ride will feature trackless cars and take you on a ghost hunt through various locatiosn in New York which seems to be having a huge increase in supernatual activity. A great picture of the ECTO-1 themed ride cars was posted to twitter.
(3/23/16) MotionGate Dubai sent Screamscape a great new document with details all about the park's entire slate of 27 new rides and attractions to share with everyone. By the numbers, the park will feature the works of three different Hollywood studios: DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate, with 27 rides and attractions (including 5 coasters) divided into 5 themed zones.
Zone: Studio Central (2 Live Entertainment Shows)
Opening Ceremony - A daily song and dance production featuring favourite Hollywood characters to welcome guests into the park.
Backlot Crew - A roaming interactive show led by a quirky film director character and his comedic film crew.
Zone: Sony Pictures Studios (7 Attractions / 6 Live Entertainment Shows)
Hotel Transylvania - A frenetic, fun dark ride inside the world’s only hotel for monsters.
Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs: River Expedition - A splashing water rapids family ride, where guests voyage through Swallow Falls aboard an inflatable raft.
Flint's Imagination Lab - An interactive and experimental play lab with larger than life foam food objects.
Zombieland: Blast Off - A 58m drop tower that blasts guests up, down and more!
Ghostbusters: Battle for New York - An interactive dark ride and shooting game where guests can shoot at various targets for points.
The Green Hornet: High Speed Chase - A fast-paced roller coaster that sends guests speeding through sharp turns and dizzying drops.
Underworld 4D - A multi-sensory experience with 4D theatre effects including seat vibration, air blasts, mist, wind and lighting effects.
Backlot Beat - A group of young artists dancing and singing the top hits of yesterday
Ghostbusters - The Ghostbusters as a singing, dancing boy band.
Hotel Transylvania - Count Dracula and his family of monsters perform song and dance numbers.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Curious young inventor Flint Lockwood and Sam Sparks meet with fans.
The Green Hornet - The Green Hornet The Green Hornet and Kato share crime fighting tips with guests.
Underworld - Selene, the vampire heroine of the Underworld poses for photos.
Zone: Smurfs Village (5 Attractions / 1 Live Entertainment Show)
Smurfs Studio Tour - A family ride that takes guests behind the scenes of the Smurfs working studio.
Smurfs Village Playhouse - A live theatre show where guests can interact with animated Smurfs.
Smurfs Village Express - A family-friendly roller coaster journey through Smurfs Village.
Woodland Play Park - An adventure playground with rope bridges, slides and mushroom- shaped houses.
Smurfberry Factory - An interactive soft play area with large foam Smurfberries.
The Smurfs - Character encounters with the colony of little blue friends.
Zone: Dreamworks (12 Attractions / 4 Live Entertainment Shows)
Shrek’s Merry Fairy Tale Journey - An interactive dark ride which revisits the story of how Shrek and Fiona met in a memorable way.
Swamp Celebration - A family ride where guests sit in a hollowed out log that glides and spins.
Madagascar Mad Pursuit - A white knuckle roller coaster ride that takes guests on a windy course filled with sharp turns.
Melman Go-Round - An animated carousel family ride featuring Madagascar characters.
Penguin Air - A family ride where guests ride on rotating hang glider aircrafts.
Kung Fu Panda: Unstoppable Awesomeness - A 3D multi-sensory theatre experience with special theatre effects.
Mr. Ping’s Noodle Fling - A classic teacup ride, but in whimsical noodle bowls where guests can control how fast they spin.
Kung Fu Panda Academy - An interactive, live stage show, where participants can learn the art of kung fu from the masters.
Dragon Gliders - An exhilarating suspended roller coaster that soars high above.
Camp Viking - An interactive, adventure water play area for families with wet and dry areas.
Swinging Viking - A classic swinging ride on a Viking ship which glides back and forth.
Fountain of Dreams - A multi-media fountain with water and light displays which showcases some of DreamWorks’ favourite characters.
Shrek - Shrek, Fiona and friends meet and greet fans.
Madagascar: King Julien’s Side Show Café - King Julian and the characters from Madagascar put on a comedic show for diners.
Madagascar: King Julien’s Side Show Café - Captain Chantel DuBois entertains diners as she hunts the escaped Zoosters.
How To Train Your Dragon - A not-to-miss photo opportunity with a larger-than-life Toothless and his friends Astrid and Hiccup.
Zone: Lionsgate (3 Attractions)
Capitol Bullet Train (The Hunger Games) - An adrenaline-fuelled roller coaster experience which launches guests in all directions.
Panem Aerial Tour (Hunger Games) - An immersive 3D motion simulator where guests ride a soaring hovercraft.
Step Up Dubai, All In! - A high energy stage show featuring live hip hop dancers, pop singers and rappers.
SIX FLAGS DUBAI
2019 - New Park - Ground Broken - (4/1/17) Curious about the state of Six Flags Dubai? The site has been walled off and cleared since groundbreaking but no sign of construction on anything yet. According to pictures and a post to ThemeparX the site various plans and ride packages for the new park are still in the process of being submitted by vendors, so we probably wont see any serious construction on the new project begin until later this year. As of right now they are promoting it as opening in 2019... most likely late 2019 if they follow the timelines of how the first three parks were opened.
The park will feature 27 rides and attractions spread across six themed zones, the names of which will sound familiar to many US Six Flags fans: Thrillseeker Plaza, Magic Mountain, Fiesta Texas, Great Escape, Great Adventure and Great America. While the details are not ready for release, they say that the park will feature at least three world-record breaking rides in addition to 6 coasters, 4 "aerial attractions", a 350-meter River Rapids ride and 3 performance spaces for live entertainment.
(8/25/16) According to the latest word hitting the various news sites, Six Flags Dubai is being planned to become home to the world's biggest rollercoaster when it opens. If I had to guess, I wouldn't be surprised to find a slightly bigger / faster version of Six Flags' Kingda Ka coaster build here. Kingda Ka stands 456 feet tall and hits a top speed of 128 mph in 3.5 seconds. If they really wanted to push things they could try to break the Formula Rossa speed record of 149.1mph as well, but that might require a significantly taller structure.
(7/22/16) According to an article at BlooLoop, FORREC is acting as the Lead Design Consultant for the new Six Flags Dubai theme park project that just broke ground a couple of weeks ago. Follow the link to learn a bit more about the details of this new park development.
(7/4/16) Dubai Parks & Resorts has confirmed that they have officially broken ground for the new Six Flags Dubai theme park. This marks the official start of construction for "Phase 2" of the Dubai Parks & Resorts project, with a late 2019 opening date for the resorts 4th theme park.
(5/19/16) A new video showing off artwork of the proposed Six Flags Dubai park can be found over at Travellerczech this week.
(5/5/16) A new piece of aerial concept artwork for Six Flags Dubai was released this week, showing off the design of the park, some of the likely major attractions and an new main gate concept for Six Flags. The entry of the park appears to be entirely indoor, where I believe they will likely also have a number of shops and food options, along with one coaster that runs around just outside entry plaza area. The press release does mention that the indoor promenade area will give guests direct access to three different attractions from inside the plaza.
Inside the park, major attractions spotted include a pair of S&S style drop towers, what looks like a custom RMC style wooden coaster with inversions, a large Sky Screamer (Funtime Star Flyer), a S&S 4D Freespin coaster, as well as a copy of Mack's new innovative Power Splash water shuttle coaster concept, the first of which is just getting ready to open at Walibi Belgium as Pulsar.
With some available indoor space you may be thinking that the park will likely get a Justice League: Battle for Metropolis attraction, but I don't believe this will be the case. There is the matter of WB using all their own DC Comic heroes and villains down the road in Abu Dhabi in their indoor Warner Bros. World park, which will likely prevent Six Flags from using the characters in the area. The press release does however promise that the park will feature a "next-generation 4-D interactive dark ride" of some kind however when it opens in 2019.
(3/29/16) While Dubai Parks & Resorts is busy finishing up their huge 3-park resort project in time for an October opening, it seems this hasn't stopped them from already working out a deal to build a Phase 2 expansion. While the deal still has to be voted in by the shareholders in April, the proposed plan would then begin work on a $454 million expansion that will include a "Six Flags Dubai" theme park open as the project's 4th gate by late 2019.
The timing for the expansion is also critical, as the Dubai Parks & Resort property is located very close to the planned location of the 2020 World Expo site in Duabi.
(6/1/16) Dubai Parks & Resorts has raised Dhs 1.68 billion in funds needed to develop their planned Six Flags Theme Park expansion, which they hope to have ready to open by the end of 2019.