Dubai: The first phase of the Dubai Parks and Resorts project in Dubai is on track to open in October 2016, with 35 per cent of infrastructure work already completed, and rides due to arrive at the site early next year.
Phase 1 will cost $2.9 billion (Dh10.6 billion), according to Dubai Parks and Resorts, a subsidiary of Dubai government-owned developer Meraas Holding.
Dubai Parks and Resorts last week opened its Dh2.5 billion initial public offering (IPO) for investors. Funds raised from the IPO will be used in part to finance the construction of the leisure and entertainment development, according to Paul La France, chief project officer at the company.
The rest of the funding will come from Goldman Sachs’ $1.15 billion loan, and a further $1 billion from Meraas, La France said. He was speaking to reporters after a tour of the project in Jebel Ali.
Phase 1, which covers an area of 25 million square feet, includes three theme parks: motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland Dubai, which will offer 73 attractions, and the four-star Lapita Hotel, operated by Marriott International. Riverpark, an entrance plaza which will offer retail and dining options, will be the centrepiece of the project, connecting all three theme parks.
Covering an area of four million square feet, Hollywood-themed motiongate will have 27 attractions across four zones: DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Smurfs Village and Studio Central.
Bollywood Parks will feature 16 rides and attractions and an 800-seat Raj Mahal theatre for live shows.
Both theme parks will be operated by Madrid-based Parques Reunidos.
Legoland Dubai, operated by UK-based Merlin Entertainments, will feature 40 rides.
Dubai Parks and Resorts said that park operators will manage the retail outlets. Retailers can start signing up to be part of Riverpark starting from the first quarter of 2015.
According to La France, 55 per cent of facility contracts have already been awarded with the rest to be awarded by the end of the year.
The company said 95 per cent of the project’s rides have been ordered and are expected to arrive at the site in early 2015.
The three theme parks could be expanded further if there is demand for it, said La France, adding two additional hotels could be built in Legoland Dubai and Bollywood Parks.
The company expects the development to attract 5.5 million visitors during its first full year of operations in 2017.