Merlin Entertainments Group, the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, announced today the formation of a strategic alliance with Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holdings, to create Legoland Dubailand(R) – the first Legoland Park to be built outside of North America and Europe.
Legoland Dubailand is due to open at the end of 2011, and will be a 3 million square-foot theme park project forming part of DUBAILAND(TM), the world’s most ambitious tourism, leisure and entertainment destination. Similar to the existing four Legoland Parks at Billund, Denmark; Germany; Windsor and California (most recently named Best Children’s Park for the fourth consecutive year by Amusement Today) Legoland Dubailand includes more than 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions geared towards families with children ages 2 to 12.
Legoland Dubailand offers families a unique opportunity to let their imaginations run free and be immersed in Lego experiences with its mix of kid-powered rides, cool building challenges, spectacular Lego models, interactive attractions, family-friendly coasters, and shows that pull the audience into the action. All these elements, which bring millions of visitors to Legoland Parks in North America and Europe, will be part of the Legoland Dubailand experience.
Merlin Entertainments Group and Tatweer are also looking at a number of other potential developments, including the establishment of themed Legoland hotels and possibly other attractions from Merlin Entertainments extensive portfolio.
Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments Group, said: "Merlin Entertainments Group is the second largest attraction operator in the world, and Legoland Parks are well-known throughout the world as the ultimate destination for families with young children. Choosing this location for the new Legoland Park reflects the fact that Dubai is becoming a major holiday destination, not only for the region, but also for visitors worldwide. Teaming with Tatweer is the perfect way to offer families access to the Legoland experience and potentially to other attractions within the Merlin Group."
Saeed Al Muntafiq, Executive Chairman of Tatweer, commented: "We are extremely proud of our alliance with Merlin Entertainments Group and the Legoland brand. The partnership demonstrates our dedication to deliver on the tourism objectives of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. As the owner and developer of the 3 billion square-foot DUBAILAND, which hosts some of the world’s most enchanting entertainment concepts, Tatweer has become a leader in bringing landmark projects to Dubai, including Bawadi, Tiger Woods Dubai and many others. The global reputation of Legoland Parks for interactive rides, shows, attractions and its appeal to families with young children adds further value to DUBAILAND with an enhanced experience to visitors and tourists."
Commenting, Lego owner Kjeld Kristiansen said, ‘Legoland is the ultimate experience of Lego values and potential. We are delighted that a fifth Park will be opening soon and have no doubt that Legoland Dubailand will be extremely successful.’
Nick Varney concluded: "This new Legoland Park highlights Merlin’s growing leadership in the attractions sector. This is an exciting time for the Group and we have a very aggressive growth strategy, including opening four to five of our midway indoor attractions each year, as well as continuing to develop our resort theme parks."
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About MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP:
THE MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world’s second biggest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates 58 attractions and 6 hotels in 12 countries, and on 3 continents around the world. Merlin aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 33 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Earth Explorer and The Pepsi Globe. Merlin is owned by The Blackstone Group, the global investment and advisory firm.
LEGOLAND(R) is a brand of interactive theme parks dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. Each Park features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions geared towards interactive family fun. There are four LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Windsor outside of London, LEGOLAND California in the U.S. and LEGOLAND Deutschland near Günzburg, Germany. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group. For the most current information, visit http://www.LEGOLAND.com.
The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials for children, employing approximately 5, 000 people globally. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO products can be purchased in more than 130 countries.
LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group. (c)2008 The LEGO Group.
DUBAILAND(TM), a member of Tatweer, is the world’s most ambitious tourism, leisure and entertainment project, catering to the needs of the entire family. The unique 3 billion sq. ft. development has been designed to catalyze the position of Dubai as an international hub of family tourism, appealing to tourist segments across genders, age group, world regions and activity preferences. DUBAILAND(TM) is projected to attract millions of tourists annually from around the world.
The diverse projects under DUBAILAND(TM) include theme parks, eco-tourism projects, shopping malls, restaurants and residential units that are being developed by UAE, GCC and international investors.
A product of extraordinary vision, Dubailand will be an attractive place to ‘live, work and play’ for the emirate’s growing population, both as a leisure destination and an appropriate setting for business and entertainment development.
Launched in December 2005, Tatweer is one the region’s most dynamic enterprises and a member of Dubai Holding. Comprising 10 market-leading brands, it oversees an ambitious business development plan. Its current portfolio is divided into Energy & Healthcare, Tourism & Entertainment, and Industry & Real Estate offerings. Its entities include Dubai Healthcare City, the region’s hub for world-class quality healthcare services; Mizin, one of the most advanced real estate companies in the region; Universal City Dubailand, the 22 million sq ft development, featuring Universal Studios Dubailand as its centrepiece; "The Tiger Woods – Dubai", an exclusive golf community that will include the first Tiger Woods designed golf course; DUBAILAND(tm), one of the biggest leisure, entertainment and tourism destinations in the Middle East; Dubai Industrial City, an industrial township to develop Dubai as a leading manufacturing hub; Bawadi, the world’s leading hospitality and entertainment project hosting 51 luxury hotels and more than 60, 000 hotel rooms; Dubai Energy, investing in regional and global energy opportunities and building a diversified investment portfolio; Dubai Mercantile Exchange, the first energy futures exchange in the Middle East set up in partnership with the New York Mercantile Exchange and Global Village, a premier family destination for culture, entertainment, cuisine and commerce.
Tatweer’s entities continue to consolidate a group of life-improving industries in addition to pioneering joint venture initiatives with leading global conglomerates. They continuously strive for world-class performance, while implementing leadership development to drive and sustain business excellence, quality and high performance.