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Michael Owen

New Universal project announced for Dubai

Published: December 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Universal are finally set to open an entertainment destination in Dubai, according to reports in the Middle Eastern press.

After years of setbacks Universal will work on a new project revealed by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum today which will be part of a wider development under the Crown Ruler of Dubai's name.

According to the Gulf News, Universal's part in the new project will be park of a family tourism center with a park capable of handling 35 million yearly visitors and the regions largest leisure and entertainment center.

The wider development will take the form of a city within a city, so to speak, with over 300 hotels, the worlds largest shopping mall and living and office space.

Any announcement of this size and scale will undoubtedly be taken with a pinch of salt after the mammoth Dubailand project was revealed, scaled down and then scrapped within a decade, but the Sheikh's direct involvement with the announcement of the project offers a serious statement of intent.

The plans for Universal's input have yet to be fully revealed, though the likelihood will be the company will either be asked to put together a traditional Universal park full of well-known favourites or a large scale indoor facility, much like Abu Dhabi's Ferrari World, to keep guests out of the heat.

My opinion? I won't be holding my breath, though I expect this to be built at some point, especially as Dubai's economy gets back on its feet, it's likely not in the very near future.

Replies (5)

Phil B.

Published: December 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Ehhh, I stopped being excited for Dubai' projects years ago when most of them evaporated. Wake me when they open
Rob Pastor

Published: December 15, 2012 at 5:56 PM

With all of the chaos throughout the Islamic nations, I would be wary of any project this large. This area of the world is a powder keg. Even the Saudi monarchy is being cautious. Stability is a big question mark, even in Dubai. We need to be thankful that we live in, what is undoubtedly, the most secure nation on earth.
Mike Gallagher

Published: December 16, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Shows what I know about the world. I thought Powder Keg was a roller coaster in Missouri...

Published: December 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

The only chaos going on in Dubai is a good old hypercapitalist bubble that crashed, which does not really ring any asociations with "islamic" whatever that is supposed to be. Muslim majority countries are just as diverse as christian majority countries. The tourist risk asociated with going to Dubai is mostly about lack of healthcare without imidiated payment and excessive punishment for drug use. Now i wunder which other very christian country could be asociate with those kind of risks for tourists.


Published: December 17, 2012 at 6:17 AM

@Rob Pastor Where did you get this distorted view of reality?
Anyway, you should take this announcement with a huge pinch of salt. 300 hotels? How many rooms will that be? If Universal will go trough with this it probably will be something like they are doing in Rusia and not a full blown park.

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