DUBAI Developments & Attractions
New Theme Parks, Attractions and Resorts - (4/16/16) In an bit of a surreal moment a trio of skateboarders in Dubai were offered a chance to skate around one one of the big waterslides at the Atlantis waterpark, Aquaventure, on a day it was shut down for maintenance. I'm not sure how good this was for the slide itself however, as the Six Flags WhiteWater park in Georgia arrested and charged a pair of men who broke into that closed waterpark last month to skateboard on one of their slides, claiming that their skateboard rides caused $20,000 in damage to the fiberglass surface.
(4/11/16) I don't know much about Hub Zero, but I'm told that it is an indoor video game style attraction to open in Dubai sometime this Summer with a series of special attractions. One of which will be the exclusive premier of the first Resident Evil themed VR experience called: Resident Evil: Bio Terror.
(3/31/16) A new themed attraction has opened in Dubai called The Dome Box. Our friends at BlooLoop have an extensive report about the attraction, which has a sort of SteamPunk theme to the building, where the experience inside is a 360º domed theater. New films made just for the attraction are still in production, but they are currently showing a rotation of three films: Life of Trees, Astronaut and Africa. Guests view the films seated in beanbags or against cushioned "leaning bars" that have replaced traditional cinema seating. 4D theater style effects such as wind, haze and even scent are also used to help bring the films to life. Follow the link to read more and see pictures of The Dome Box.
(12/16/15) BlooLoop reports that the 22-screen Reel Cinemas theater inside The Dubai Mall has signed a deal with MediaMation to add a 132-seat MX4D Motion EFX Theater. The new attraction will feature pneumatically driven motion seats, air and water effects, leg/neck ticklers and even aroma effects.
While they don't go into specifics, I believe the theater will be used to screen enhanced major theatrical film releases. According to MediaMation's website the 2015 slate of movies shown in MX4D Cinema Theaters included most of the summer's biggest hits like Jurassic World, Minions, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fast & Furious 7, San Andreas and more.
(7/18/15) A reader submitted photo from Duabi this week shows off the latest progress on the Dubai Eye giant wheel.
(6/30/15) According to the local news, the two huge A-frame support structure pieces for the Dubai Eye giant wheel have been installed on Bluewaters Island. The Dubai Eye is supposed to stand 210 meters (688.9 ft) tall when complete. Currently the tallest Giant Wheel in the world is the High Roller in Las Vegas which stands 167.6 meters / 550 feet tall.
(6/29/15) What may be the final design revision for the unique underwater Pearl of Dubai project has been submitted by Reef Worlds for approval. The attraction would be the first underwater "theme park" concept, which would see a 5 acre sized themed underwater habitat built, themed after the lost sunken city of Atlantis, for scuba and snorkel fans to enjoy and explore if the project is given the final green light to go ahead.
(11/3/14) According to a report by ThemeParkInvestigator, it seems Merlin may have axed their once proposed Dubai location for a Madame Tussauds wax museum. Given Merlin’s participation with the Dubai Parks & Resorts project, which will open LEGOLAND Dubai in 2016, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Madame Tussauds project resurface there once Legoland opens.
(8/21/14) Remember Universal Studios Dubailand? They got as far as building an office building area and initial land clearing before getting shut down. The latest update from ThemeparX shows new pictures of the old office space area for the park as it is being demolished.
(8/5/14) A look at the current construction that has started for the newest theme park concepts in Dubai can be found at ThemeparX.
(7/7/14) Disney & More has some new details and concept artwork for a wild and crazy proposal for Dubai called the Dubai Mall of the World that appears to want to build it’s own cityscape within a giant environmental controlled dome. If you read the article, you will see that their projection and hopes for tourism to visit the giant domed in cityscape are 180 million a year, which is more than the entire United States and France can pull in combined and just not feasible. I wouldn’t count on seeing this one get built… but it is fun to look at.
What to see another proposal that will probably never get off the ground? Be sure to check out the latest concept art for something called Disneyland Dubai which would feature many traditional Disney style lands, but also seems to include a Cars Land as well as a Star Wars themed version of Tomorrowland, complete with Tie Fighter and X-Wing themed ships in place of the Astro Orbiter along with a full scape Millennium Falcon.
(7/2/14) An underwater themed environment park for Scuba divers to enjoy is being planned for the shadow waters off Dubai’s “World Islands”. It will be called the Pearl of Dubai and feature large set pieces installed at the bottom of the ocean on a 5-acre site, designed to look like a lost sunken ancient city.
(4/22/14) The design plan for the $1.6 billion Bluewaters Island project set to be built off the coast of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residences is being changed. Under the old plan, it was to be split into three zones, one that would primarly feature residential sites, an second earmarked for only resort hotel development and the third would contain a mix of retail and leisure based sites along with the Dubai Eye, set to become the world’s tallest observation wheel standing 210 meters tall (689 feet).
However, according to this article, the entire Master Plan has been redesigned to make it “more inviting for the guest”. No further details were made available to the public just yet, but this could be an interesting development to keep an eye on.
(4/14/14) A new deal has been signed to bring a Six Flags theme park to Dubai it seems. According to the announcement the park may open as early as 2017 in Jebel Ali as part of a multi-park development plan by Meraas.
(3/6/14) Screamscape sources tell us that grading and early foundation work for the new Legoland Dubai theme park is already under way.
(2/24/14) An interesting new attraction could soon be under construction in the waters off Dubai… an underwater themed environment is being designed for the shallow waters at The World islands area under the working title of “The Pearl of Dubai”. They want to build an exciting looking themed world of ruins and structures that can be enjoyed by Snorkel and Divers as well as make a happy home for the local fish / marine life to create a perfect balance for all. The official announcement to launch the project will take place in March.
(7/12/13) According to this report the dream of building Universal Studios Dubailand is still alive as Dubai Holding and Tatweer Parks have confirmed that they are in talks with Universal Studios over the project once again.
(5/13/13) According to interesting updates about the Universal Studios Dubai project posted to ThemeparX, several Universal execs and Dubai businessmen were seen taking a tour of Universal Studios Florida the other day. This could be in regards to the possible revival of the Universal Studios Dubai project, possibly as part of the new Mohammed bin Rashid City complex. According to another post, they will take their time with that one, with the first phase of the project (which may include the theme park) not set to be complete until around 2020.
Meanwhile new pictures from the Dubailand area show that an actual attraction has actually opened at least… the Dubai Miracle flower garden. Check it out here plus some other pictures of the nearby area.
(4/23/13) Another new attraction has been announced for Dubai… this one called Dubai Safari. The plan of Dubai Safari is to build a huge natural animal habitat. They report that the first phase of construction is complete and that they hope to open the 29 hectares park by late 2014. Once open, the park will replace the existing 1.5 hectare Dubah Zoo in Jumeirah.
(2/18/13) Dubai is at it again, this time with a plan to build the Dubai Eye, the world’s biggest Giant Wheel that would stand 688 feet tall. Construction on the Dubai Eye is supposed to start sometime in 2013 if all goes well, so stay tuned. The wheel is part of a larger “Blue Waters” project area and you can see a bunch of pictures of a model they had set up on display here.
(1/10/13) According to the latest update posted to The Theme Park Guy Construction Board, new layout art released for “Mohammed Bin Rashid City” now shows off what looks very much like the old Universal Studios Dubailand layout as part of this new plan. The image is tiny, and details are almost impossible to make out, but the comparison of this new Universal Studios Dubai project to the old Dubailand one are striking. Could Universal Studios Dubai be back on the development track?
(11/28/12) An aerial piece of artwork, overlayed over a photo of Dubai (click here) shows off the conceptual layout of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Gardens project, which is said to be a part of the larger Mohammed Bin Rashid City project. More art and even a video showing off the Gardens project can be seen here. I’m told that this is closer to the city than the old Universal Dubailand site, which can be good… though it has also been pointed out that while they claim Universal is involved, and there will be a theme park, we don’t know for sure what form this park may take. This could be more of an indoor Universal Studios Experience style project, like the one proposed for Russia. Actually, if you read the exact text, they really only link Universal to the mall project and not the theme park, which seems odd, but the park could have nothing to do with Universal at all at this point.
That said… it also looks like others in Dubai may be trying to jump on the bandwagon. It was reported that a $2.7 billion complex was announced promising five theme parks projects: one based on Bollywood, the Dubai Adventure Studios (an “adventure park featuring Hollywood brands), a water and marine life park, a children’s park and a night safari. This project, developed by Meraas Holding, will be located in the Jebel Ali area. This project was given approval by the ruler of Dubai, but I’m currently under the impression that it is a separate project from the Mohammed Bin Rashid City project. Anyone else know more?
(11/27/12) According to this news article, Dubai’s new Mohammed Bin Rashid City project will have a theme park built as a collaboration with Universal Studios included in the first phase. Phase two will focus building the world’s new largest mall, to be called “Mall of the World”. The new “city” area will also be home to over 100 hotel facilities to accommodate the needs of the guests as well as a few golf-courses. The new city project will be developed by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties.
“The new city will be located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Sheikh Zayed Road, and will include Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens Project.” It will also be connected to Downtown Dubai and Businesss Bay through something called Cultural Crossing, which will include a number of art galleries.
Now that we have a basic rough location, does anyone know if the old Universal Studios Dubailand site that had previously begun early ground work construction falls into the site area of “Mohammed Bin Rashid City”, or will they be starting over somewhere else?
(11/26/12) Fox News reports that Dubai has unveiled plans for a new tourism based “City” that will feature a massive mega-mall for retail shopping and dining, luxury hotels and a theme park. Little in the way of actual hard details were released yet, but they say that the mega-mall itself is planned to “outclass” the existing Dubai Mall, which currently is the world’s biggest. Unfortunately, I’ve found no details on just what kind of theme park they are planning just yet. They are calling this new ‘city’ the Mohammed Bin Rashid City, named after the ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed Bid Rashid Al Maktoum. While we have seen many a plan in Dubai promoted and quickly fail to materialize build over the past several years, the fact that this one is named for Dubai’s ruler does seem to put some pressure on the parties involved in making this one project actually get built as promised.
In a stark comparison, just the other day TheThemeParkGuy has posted a very interesting update to his forum, showing off the previous Dubailand theme parks and major project plans and aerial photos of the sites as they appear today, partially built or even totally empty. Several pieces of artwork show off five separate theme parks projects, all attached to a CitiWalk style retail corridor that ran in between them. The parks are unnamed, but we can assume we may be looking at the sites for the once proposed Legoland, Dreamworks, Marvel and Six Flags Dubailand projects. The Universal studios site was located a bit further away, as was the F1-X theme park intended to go in next to the race track at Motor City as you can see in the aerial photos posted back in July.