World's largest indoor theme park set to open in Dubai
(Reuters/NAN) The world's largest indoor theme park is set to open in Dubai this month to lure back some of the tourists and residents who often flee abroad during the scorching desert summer.
In a sandy suburb beyond Dubai’s concrete jungle and pockets of artificially green spaces, IMG Worlds of Adventure’s boxy exterior belies a 140,000-square metre (1.5 million-square foot) air-conditioned cathedral of entertainment.
As at now, stir-crazy families in Dubai, a tourism and financial hub which already boasts the worlds tallest building, had few places to stretch their legs beyond expensive malls.
Even an indoor ski slope, complete with real-life penguins, had not been enough to stanch the exodus that left roads and public spaces eerily quiet through the hot months.
Mr Lennard Otto, the Chief Executive Officer of the new one billion dollars attraction said; ``Dubai still suffers from a certain amount of seasonality during the June, July, and August period.
``We will hopefully drive tourism in those periods to make Dubai an all-year-round destination ahead of the theme park's Aug. 31 opening.
``Today there’s a gap in this market and in the region; people are actually travelling to the far East and the West to experience theme parks,’’ Otto said.
He explained that both the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, and Saudi Arabia had inaugurated this year to create more fun for their car and Smartphone-obsessed people.
As part of the plan to diversify its economy away from oil, Saudi Arabia had announced in June that it was in talks with Six Flags Entertainment Corp to build theme parks.
``The UAE created a ``Happiness Ministry’’ in February to look at ways of measuring and improving quality of life
``Happiness in Dubai may soon be in no short supply, as a government-backed rival by Dubai Parks and Resorts DUBA.DU will open by year's end.
``The Fox-branded theme park, with attractions based on TV and film titles such as `Ice Age’ and `The Simpsons’ is set to open in 2020,’’ Otto said.