The £50bn theme park dubbed ‘Middle East’s Disneyland’ still being built after 21 years | World | News


While the US has Walt Disney World in Florida and Europe has Disneyland Paris, the Middle East can’t quite compete when it comes to theme parks. Sure, there’s Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi opened in 2010, but nothing truly comes close to Western theme parks.

However, a long-standing plan to open Dubai’s answer to Disney World may one day see the Middle East have a theme park to rival any other on the planet.

Enter: Dubailand. First dreamed up in 2003, Dubailand is expected to cost around £50bn when it opens – or if it opens. 

The construction of the project has been riddled with challenges and in 2008 building was paused altogether. The global financial crisis, besides Dubai’s domestic economic woes, meant the plan was put on hold.

However, five years later in 2013 building started back up. At 107sq metres, Dubaiworld was set to be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort, with six distinct zones: Attractions and Experience World, Sports and Outdoor World, Eco-Tourism World, Themed Leisure and Vacation World, Retail and Entertainment World, and Downtown.

Although the theme park as a whole has not yet officially opened and a firm date is yet to be established, many of the constituent parts of Dubailand are open and have been for some time.

The Dubai Miracle Garden opened in 2013 and features more than 250 million plants. Meanwhile, the IMG Worlds of Adventure opened three years later with three incredible indoor rollercoasters.

Visitors to the IMG Worlds of Adventure have raved about their experience there: “Absolutely amazing theme park. I went in summer so it helps that this entire park is indoors and air conditioned. Rides were amazing and well kept, an overall fun experience for myself and the family. Ps, the power puff girls ride is not as cute of a ride as it seems, it’s terrifying!”

Another added: “IMG World’s of Adventure is an amazing place – a very well executed concept which is ideal to visit especially in the hot summer months of Dubai when you can’t be outdoors. It’s unbelievable how they’ve built this at this scale, containing the size and type of attractions normally only seen outdoors.

“We spent an entire day here and didn’t feel tired or exhausted at all. Granted it was July “off season” and a weekday but the whole park was very clean, nice and cool, lots of places to eat and drinks spread around the park and not difficult to navigate around.”

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