Teshkeel Media Group (TMG), creators of the world-acclaimed comic series THE 99, has announced a groundbreaking partnership with United Entertainment & Tourism Company (UETC) to develop the region’s first superhero theme park featuring THE 99 characters.
The partnership forms the start of a regional strategic alliance between Teshkeel and UETC. THE 99 VILLAGE will be created on the site of UETC’s existing amusement park in Jahra, Kuwait. The launch of a series of THE 99 VILLAGE theme parks will soon follow throughout the GCC.
THE 99 theme parks will occupy a unique place in the region’s entertainment offerings. Featuring characters of Islamic culture from around the world and intellectual property created in the MENA region, THE 99 theme parks will hold a special attraction for consumers in the GCC and Islamic World.
Adel Omoor, Chairman and CEO of UETC, said: "We are delighted to partner with Teshkeel and add THE 99 characters to our entertainment mix. We’re sure that the addition of these world-famous superheroes will give our new theme parks extra appeal and provide a memorable entertainment experience for the whole family."
Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Founder and CEO of Teshkeel Media Group, said: "We are privileged to be working with UETC to open the world of THE 99 to visitors from around the globe. Seeing our characters and their environment transformed from two dimensional drawings to a real world setting is not only a dream come true for me, but also an indicator of the tremendous growth potential of THE 99 brand."
Plans call for THE 99 VILLAGE to open in Jahra, Kuwait in Fall 2008. Looking ahead, Teshkeel and UETC plan to open a new park every year for the next six years. The planned developments will alternate between indoor and outdoor parks and represent one of the most ambitious expansion plans for entertainment properties in the region.
Omoor added: "We’re tremendously excited by Naif’s vision for THE 99 that he and his team have built. The variety of characters they have created are a theme park builder’s dream and we can’t wait to start turning these fantastic creations into reality. The diversity of ‘THE 99 Universe’ will be reflected in the different parks and entertainment settings that we will create together."
In addition to the parks, the joint venture will develop themed merchandise for THE 99 that will soon be available to retail stores throughout the region. In the fall of this year, UETC will preview THE 99 VILLAGE STORE in each of its existing parks. Among the items that will be available are coloring and activity books, apparel, toys and games and exclusive items that will only be found in the UETC parks.
Al-Mutawa explained, "The parks and merchandise are the latest step in spreading the story and message of THE 99 to the widest possible audience. We want everyone to experience our positive message about tolerance, teamwork and respect that appear in every story of THE 99. THE 99 theme parks will provide a safe and fun environment for families to be entertained and educated by characters drawn from their culture and values."
In addition to rides, games and other amusements, THE 99 VILLAGE will include a stage show telling visitors about the story of THE 99 as well as life-sized characters of our superheroes leading tours around the park. It’s a unique opportunity for kids to interact with their favorite heroes and learn more about their origins.
Concluded Al-Mutawa: "When I first created THE 99 I told people that ‘next Ramadan the world will have new heroes.’ These days I tell people, ‘The world has new heroes … and next Ramadan you can go and visit them in Jahra!’"
About Teshkeel Media Group
Teshkeel Media Group, KSC (http://www.teshkeel.com/) is one of the Middle East’s leading developers of comic books, magazines, and other forms of children’s entertainment. Based in Kuwait, and with offices in New York and Cairo, the company’s mission is to fill a significant void in positive, high- quality children’s content in the region, including in print and electronic media, film, and television. Teshkeel develops its own original character properties, including THE 99 (http://www.the99.org/), an award-winning original superhero property based on Islamic culture and history, that FORBES recently identified as one of the "Top 20 Trends Sweeping the Globe."
About United Entertainment & Tourism Company
United Entertainment and Tourism Company is a prime player in the entertainment and leisure sector of the real estate industry. UETC’s portfolio of assets consists of businesses engaged in entertainment & theme parks, hotel industry, restaurants and coffee shop, golf and leisure and commercial complexes in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. UETC’s Entertainment and Theme Parks division operates theme parks in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. In Kuwait, it manages Shaab Entertainment Park, Marah Land, Sabahiya and the soon to be launched Al Shayil Park, Jahra.