Dubai opens the world's largest indoor theme park
US$1 billion IMG Worlds of Adventure opens as governments across the Middle East seek to boost tourism to fight off plunging oil revenues
The city that already houses the world's tallest building and world's most luxurious hotel is adding a new one to its slate: The world's largest indoor theme park.
The US$1 billion project in Dubai is the size of 28 football fields. Called IMG Worlds of Adventure, the park features rides with characters from Cartoon Network and Disney's Marvel universe, including Spider-man and the Hulk.
Governments across the Middle East are trying to attract more tourists to fight off plunging oil revenues. By the time Dubai hosts The World Expo in 2020, Dubai aims to attract 20 million visitors annually. Last year, 14 million visitors came through Dubai, according to its Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
The region has ambitious plans to open a number of parks over the next few years. Saudi Arabia is planning to open a Six Flags , Doha aims to open an park inspired by the game, "Angry Birds," and Abu Dhabi is planning a Warner Bros themed-park.
Meanwhile, next month, Dubai Parks and Resorts, a state-backed company, is launching a mega-theme park next month which includes Lego Land and a Bollywood-inspired park.
According to PwC, the UAE. will attract 18 million theme park visitors annually by 2021.
The surge in parks in the region comes at a time when entertainment brands continue to eye emerging market growth. A third Disney-themed park opened in Asia this Summer, Shanghai Disney Resort.