Theme Park Insider

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi Officially Announced for 2018

April 19, 2016, 9:36 AM · Warner Bros. today officially announced that it will open a theme park in Abu Dhabi in 2018.

The Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will be developed by Miral, the developer responsible for the development and management of the Yas Island destination in Abu Dhabi where the park will be built. Yas Island also is home to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Yas Marina Circuit that hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the Formula 1 circuit.

Construction is underway on the project, which is estimated to cost US$1 billion.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, under construction
The current status of construction. Photo courtesy Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

From the park's press release:

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will bring together stories and characters from the Studio's unparalleled portfolio of DC Comics Super Heroes universe including Batman, Superman and Wonder Women as well as Warner Bros. Cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry. Guests of all ages will be able to step inside Gotham City and Metropolis, and experience the cartoon worlds of Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and more, all under one roof.

As you can see from the construction photo, this will be an indoor park, like the nearby Ferrari World, on account of the often extreme heat in the United Arab Emirates. The project also will include a Warner Bros.-themed hotel, the first of its kind at any Warner Bros. attraction around the world.

By our count, this will be the world's third Warner Bros. theme park, following Warner Bros. Movie World in Gold Coast, Australia and Parque Warner Madrid in Spain. (Another park in Germany no longer carries Warner Bros. branding and is no longer affiliated with the studio.) Warner Bros. also operates Warner Bros. Studio Tour attractions in Leavesden, England and in Burbank, Calif. In addition, Warner Bros. properties can be found in Studio City Macau as well as in Six Flags theme parks around North America. But Warner Bros.' most lucrative theme park licensing deal might be the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions in Universal theme parks in Orlando, Los Angeles, and Osaka, Japan. For what it's worth, you might notice that Harry Potter is not listed among the Warner Bros. properties that will be included in the Abu Dhabi park.

Elsewhere in the UAE, Motiongate Dubai is opening this October as part of the multi-park Dubai Parks & Resorts development, located about 50 minutes from Yas Island. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi opened in 2010. Developers said that they expect the Warner Bros. park to help drive visitation to Yas Island to 30 million visitors in 2018, from its current 25 million visitors a year.

Replies (17)

April 19, 2016 at 10:36 AM · $1 billion for an entire park? Disney spent that just for the DCA expansion.
April 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM · Disney spends money like no other.
April 19, 2016 at 12:45 PM · Yes, but slave labor is not available in California.
April 19, 2016 at 2:18 PM · Is this going to be operated by Village Roadshow, like the Australian park, or is this an independent park with warner licensing?
April 19, 2016 at 3:09 PM · "slave labor is not available in California."

If only that were true...

April 19, 2016 at 3:09 PM · This park will be developed and operated by Miral, not Village Roadshow. It is under license from Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
April 19, 2016 at 3:42 PM · Since Warner Bros has a relationship with Universal, is there any chance of DC and others in the Universal parks?
April 19, 2016 at 4:24 PM · So, the UAE (and probably more specifically Dubai and Abu Dhabi) will now have THREE large theme parks, right? This is becoming a thrill park must-do destination, right? And international Orlando? Anymore theme parks coming to UAE?
April 19, 2016 at 7:31 PM · Yet another cool looking park I'll never get to.
April 20, 2016 at 1:02 AM · If Disney orders a exit sign it'll cost 1 billion. Normal companies produce smarter and end up with better rides.
April 20, 2016 at 1:05 AM · Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry? WB have let those characters fade into complete obsolescence. Kids today do not know these characters.
April 20, 2016 at 3:34 AM · Michael, there were a lot more planned before the GFC. Not sure how many of those are being revived.
April 20, 2016 at 5:45 AM · Michael, I recently spent time in the UAE, and visited Ferrari world. It's not a "large" theme park by any stretch of the imagination. It's a half day park at best, and no where near the quality of the Universal or Disney Parks. It will be interesting to see how Motiongate and the Warner Brothers parks turn out. If they are along the lines of Ferrari World, my answer would be, no, it is not a thrill park destination of the same magnitude as Orlando.
April 20, 2016 at 7:17 AM · Doug, doubt you will ever seen DC characters in a Universal park unless Universal Orlando suddenly decides to give up their rights to Marvel characters (which I not-so-secretly hope they do so Disney can use them at Disney World).
April 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM · Everyone take good photos and video...that's as close as I'll get to visiting any of these.
April 21, 2016 at 2:02 AM · I hope Dubai will becoke a cheaper, but not too much worse alternative to Orlando for Europeans
April 26, 2016 at 4:24 AM · 203.86.206.8
April 20, 2016 at 1:05 AM ยท Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry? WB have let those characters fade into complete obsolescence. Kids today do not know these characters.

Yeah - EXCEPT that ALL 3 of these properties have had NEW SERIES in the last 2 years but yeah sure whatever you say bud.

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