More thrills on the way for the city of life

Theme parks are an important component in developing a sustainable tourism industry

The Lego Land theme park in Dubai is under development. Satish Kumar / The National
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The world's biggest indoor theme park will open its doors in Dubai next month, adding one more option to this country's already wide range of attractions. As The National reported yesterday, IMG Worlds of Adventure will feature more than 20 rides and attractions, including a haunted hotel and live performances by acrobats, dancers and jugglers who have been rehearsing since February.

This is expected to not only add some thrills for those who live here but will also attract entertainment seekers from all over the world. During its first year alone, the projected number of visitors is estimated to reach 4.5 million. In addition to children spending some recreational time with their families, the park’s educational aspect means they will have the opportunity to learn fun facts and expand their imaginations. This includes the chance to see 69 life-size animated model dinosaurs.

The theme park industry in Dubai and the UAE as a whole is witnessing a boom. Three other linked parks will soon open in Dubai: the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, Warner Brothers World is set to augment the appeal of Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World. These entertainment hubs, where different but complementary attractions are grouped together, have proved successful at Anaheim and Orlando in the United States, and on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Theme parks and live arts events, such as those to be showcased at the Dubai Opera, which will also open soon, are increasingly important parts of how tourism destinations are branded globally. They are family-friendly and attract people of all ages, some of whom even plan their holidays around them. Given the rapid expansion of the theme park industry in the United States, this is a good investment for our tourism sector.

IMG Worlds of Adventure, in particular, has a unique position as the world’s indoor biggest indoor theme park, which could help it brand itself as a “must-see” destination for theme park fans, whether in the form of a staycation for UAE residents or a destination for foreign tourists. As Ferrari World has already shown, basing these attractions indoors allows a temperature-controlled environment, meaning they can be just as popular in the middle of a scorching summer as in the winter.