Dubai Parks & Resorts has raised almost Dh1 billion in debt financing to fund its planned Six Flags theme park.
The Dubai-listed theme park operator said it secured Dh993 million from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Sharjah Islamic Bank.
The cash will fund part of its proposed Six Flags-branded theme park next to the three parks it plans to open off the Sheikh Zayed Road on the outskirts of the city.
Dubai Parks said it was seeking to raise a total of Dh2.67bn to build the 27-ride theme park, based on the Six Flags franchise in the US, which it said was expected to open by the end of 2019.
The theme park company said that the loan accounted for about 37 per cent of the total financing being raised.
The developer is building three theme parks next to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai motorway – Legoland Dubai, Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai – all of them slated to open in October 2016.
But the company has always said that they form only the first phase of even more ambitious plans which are a key part of Dubai’s target of attracting 20 million tourists annually by the year 2020.
Meraas struck a deal two years ago with Texas-based Six Flags Entertainment to build a theme park at its 25 million square feet Jebel Ali complex.
The original plans for a Dh10bn park announced in November 2012 included five linked theme parks on the site.
Last month the company said it had approved plans for a share issue to help fund the remaining Dh1.68bn it needed to build the Six Flags park.
Dubai Parks said that company shareholders would be asked to vote on a special resolution to approve the proposed rights issue on Monday.
They will be asked to vote on the proposal to increase the share capital by 1.67 billion shares at an issue price of Dh1 per share. If passed, the board will then have a year to decide on the timing of the move.
“Dubai Parks and Resorts has a clear strategy to be the largest leisure and entertainment destination in the Middle East,” said its chief executive Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi. “The proposed Six Flags-branded theme park will strengthen the appeal of our destination for thrill-seekers of all ages.”
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