By 2020, when millions of visitors are expected to arrive for the World Expo 2020, Dubai will have three huge amusement parks, including Legoland, the seventh of its kind in the world. The plans for the new mega project, revealed Sunday, also feature a central retail and dining plaza and a family-friendly hotel.
Meraas Holding, a Dubai-based development company, backed by Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the blueprints for the first phase of Dubai Resorts & Parks, an entertainment and resort complex, located in Jebel Ali, near the Expo 2020 site. The mega project was first announced in 2012, when the holding company said it plans an investment worth of AED 10 billion for an amusement park development, which will include three themed parks. Besides Legoland, the popular adventure resort chain, the complex will attract visitors with a Hollywood-themed park, known as Motiongate Dubai, as well as the first of its kind Bollywood-dedicated park, which will celebrate the Indian film industry.
According to the developer, initial work began in February this year and by 2016, the first phase with the three theme parks will be completed. In the future, Riverpark, described as a retail and dining entrance plaza, will be added, as well as a family-friendly hotel Lapita. The entire investment required for completing the project is estimated at AED 10 billion, or approximately $2.7 billion. Along with other newly designed developments, Dubai Parks & Resorts is expected to double the number of visitors in the emirate, from 10 million to 20 million annually, which is in line with Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 and the preparation for hosting the World Expo in 2020.
Among the new projects, planned in Dubai, are Mall of the World, the largest shopping mall on the planet, and a new Bluewaters Island development which will have the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, called Dubai Eye. Reports also claimed a huge themed park dedicated to the Holy Quran for $7.3 million would open in September 2014, but there has been a delay and according to official information by Dubai Municipality, it will be completed next September.