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11 December 2023

Universal, Legoland at Dubailand... for now

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Tatweer Parks, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, is currently in talks with Universal Studios and Merlin Entertainments Group for theme parks in Dubailand and not actively pursuing any other venture, Emirates 24/7 can reveal.
“Tatweer Parks continue to work with Universal to develop a world class theme park in Dubai on line with market demand. Specific dates will be announced nearer to the time of opening and when agreed with Universal,” the company said in an emailed statement.
“Similarly Legoland forms an important part of this strategy and we continue to work with them.”
The company mentioned it was not actively pursuing other parks at the moment given the market conditions, asserting, “theme parks remained an integral vision for the future development of Dubailand and Dubai’s continued growth as a tourism hub.”
This means major theme park projects announced by Dreamworks, Six Flags, Marvel and Tatweer’s Freej Dubailand would not go forward.
According to Dubailand website, the venture is estimated at Dh235 billion and covers an area of three billion square feet. It has seven themes: theme parks, culture & art, science & planetariums, sports & sports academies, wellbeing & health, shopping & retail and resorts & hotels.
In 2007, Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holding, and Universal Studios announced plans for Dh8-billion theme park project in Dubailand. The first phase of which was expected to be completed by 2010.
In 2008, Merlin Entertainments Group, the world's second largest visitor attraction operator, announced plans to create Dh912 million Legoland Dubailand. The three million square-foot project was due for completion at the end of 2011.
Earlier this month, Dubai Properties Group Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al Malik told this website that it was committed to the Dubailand
project and was providing infrastructure in accordance to the contract with the developers. He had called upon the developers to fulfill their part of the commitment and build the entertainment components of their projects.