One of the world's top sports teams is getting its own theme park

November 16, 2023, 6:41 AM · One of the world's most popular sports teams is getting its own theme park.

Dubai Parks and Resorts has announced that it will open Real Madrid World, a theme park devoted to the Spanish soccer team. The resort previously announced a partnership with Real Madrid. This new announcement confirms that their attraction will be a full theme park as well as revealing its name.

"Real Madrid World promises to host new and exciting experiences for guests of all ages, including adrenaline-pumping rides, family-friendly attractions, themed food and dining, as well as unique retail stores featuring a collection of official Real Madrid merchandise, celebrating the club’s history," the resort said in its press release.

More details on specific attractions, as well as an opening date, will be announced later, the resort said.

Dubai Parks and Resorts this year closed its Bollywood Parks Dubai, apparently to make way for the Real Madrid attraction. The resort is also home to Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai, and the Riverland Dubai shopping district.

Real Madrid was named by FIFA as the Best Club of the 20th century, now with 14 European titles. It is widely considered one of the strongest sports brands in the world, with more than half a billion followers on social media. This will be the first theme park devoted to the club, though it won't be the first park with a sports theme in the UAE. Ferrari World is neighboring Abu Dhabi is themed to the wildly popular Formula 1 team, though Ferrari also has built its name into global luxury brand.

By licensing its name to a theme park in one of the world's most-visited cities, Real Madrid is trying to take the next step in building its brand value globally, as well. And Dubai Parks is looking for another winning brand that will help draw more visitors to its resort.

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Replies (2)

November 17, 2023 at 12:51 PM

I'm a pretty big soccer fan, but I question whether a single club can form the basis for an entire theme park. I'm sure the Emirates can throw enough money at anything to make it feel world class, but even a club as big as Real Madrid will have a limited audience, particularly when 98% of park guests are going to be tourists, and likely 1-and-done.

Frankly that's why I think most of the developments in the Middle East are doomed for failure, because they don't appeal to the native populations. Theme parks need repeat visits to be sustainable, and while the seemingly limitless supply of cash is there to make sure the parks continue to improve with new attractions, most guests are going to the parks once in their lifetime and never return. That's not how other successful theme parks (WDW, Disneyland, Alton Towers, Port Aventura, Tivoli, Efteling, etc...) were developed and became industry leaders. At some point, the money will eventually dry up or the powers that be will demand return from their investment, which is unlikely to materialize anytime soon. I wouldn't be surprised to see just one or 2 of these park to still be around 30+ years from now, and I would put good money on the fact that at least half of the theme parks in the Middle East will not exist by the year 2050.

November 17, 2023 at 2:16 PM

I am looking forward to "Transfer Fee: The Ride" - the thrilling story of professional football in the Middle East.

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