IMG Worlds of Adventure opened in Dubai in 2016 as the world's largest theme park. Warner Bros. World in neighboring Abu Dhabi last year took that title when it opened last year, and IMG Worlds has struggled to attract visitors since its debut.
Despite being one of the world's more popular tourist destinations, the United Arab Emirates has yet to see any of its theme parks crack global or even regional top attendance lists. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has enjoyed some success as the home of the world's fastest roller coaster, and Warner Bros. World opened to rave reviews, including winning our Theme Park Insider Award for Best Theme Park this year. But the parks in Dubai have struggled, with Dubai Parks & Resorts halting plans to add the region's first Six Flags park. Both the three-gate Dubai Parks development and IMG Worlds have had to restructure debt to provide cash flow in response to disappointing attendance and revenue.
IMG's CEO denied to Bloomberg that the company was looking for a buyer but did confirm that the company was in advanced talks with banks about loan restructuring. (For what it's worth, there's a difference between looking for a buyer for the company and entertaining offers for its theme park, in case that's a way to reconcile Bloomberg's report with the IMG CEO's response.)
IMG previously announced plans to add a second gate next to the Worlds of Adventure park, with IP from Nickelodeon and Mattel. The company hasn't revealed any new concepts or schedule for that development, but at this point it appears impossible for IMG to meet its original goal of having the park opened in time to take advantage of any expected surge in visitors to Dubai for the Expo 2020 world's fair next year.Tweet