Dubailand developers not willing to quit just yet
Published: May 30, 2011 at 12:25 PM
Perhaps the ill-fated Middle Eastern project should be the symbol of the bubble-driven development in the theme park industry. Planned in 2008 to include multiple theme parks, including ones from Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, Legoland and even Six Flags, which hasn't built a new park in decades.
When the real estate/financial bubble burst, so did the project, and U.S. theme park companies began dropping out. But Dubailand's remaining backers are soldiering on, looking for new theme park partners.
The latest news has Dubailand again pining for Disney to come to its rescue. With no interest from the House of Mouse, the project's developer is looking for an alternative, too. "We need an entertainment anchor for the family, something like Disney but not Disney," the president of the development company said.
Dubai's not a destination that many - if any - Americans consider. But Dubai draws millions of sun-seeking Europeans south each year. The Ferrari World theme park recently opened in neighboring Abu Dhabi, so the area's not a complete bust for theme park projects. Perhaps some of our European visitors might like to comment on whether they have any hope for a theme park project in Dubai, and if so, if they'd be willing to plan a visit.