Monopoly Dubai officially launched on Monday night, making Dubai the first Middle Eastern city to get its own edition. We attended the glamorous kick-off at the Burj Al Arab to find out which locations were chosen to be featured and what the most expensive spot on the board was. (Hint: we were standing in it!) If you’re thinking of heading out to nab one of these for yourself, we’ll let you in on what to expect when you unbox your board.
WHAT’S ON ‘MONOPOLY DUBAI’
Here are all the spots you can virtually own, from the least to most expensive.
1. Brown squares – Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Fahidi
2. Light Blue squares – Xclusive Yachts, La Mer, CityWalk
3. Pink squares – Atlantis Aquaventure, Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Frame
4. Orange squares – Al Seef, Festival City and Mall of Emirates
5. Red squares – Dubai Opera, Nord Anglia International School Dubai and Global Village
6. Yellow squares – Souk Madinat, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Hotel
7. Green squares – Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Atlantis The Palm Hotel and Resort and Burj Khalifa
8. Dark Blue squares – Bluewaters and Burj Al Arab
HOW TO PLAY
Monopoly can be played with as few as two people and as many as eight people. The objective of the game is to become the richest person and own as much property and land as possible.
The trick — or strategy — is to buy land early on at face value and then trade your plots with other players, selling your land for higher prices and incentives.
Each player will have a token or playing piece that represents them. These usually include miniature objects such as a shoe, a thimble and a cannon. At the start of the game, the banker will hand out the same amount of Monopoly Money to each player, totalling 2960. This is made up of four M500, M100, and M50 bills each, and 10 M20, M10, M5 and M1 bills each.
When setting up the board, you must place the Chance and Community cards on the dedicated rectangles. These cards are purely based on luck and will make players gain or lose money when they pick them up.
Though the game can get complicated, the basic premise is that a player rolls the dice, and if they land on property that is not owned by another player, they can buy it. They will get a corresponding card called a Title Deed, which will list that property’s rent and the cost of buying houses/hotels on that plot.
The more expensive the land — ie Burj Al Arab, the top spot on the Dubai board, which costs M400 to buy — the higher the rent will be. So, the more you invest, the more you get back.
On the player’s next turn, they can begin to build their land by buying hotels and houses, thereby increasing their rent. When another player lands on their property, they must pay whatever rent is due.
In addition, there are ‘utility’ squares, such as Water Works and Electric Company, where you will have to pay a fee based on your dice roll to the player who owns them. (These are standardised squares even on the Dubai board, so don’t expect to see Dubai Electricity and Water Authority [Dewa] on there.)
However, one thing that’s unique to the Dubai board is the inclusion of a square where you can ‘invest with Commercial Bank of Dubai’ for M100.
HISTORY OF THE GAME
The first Monopoly board was created in 1935 by the Parker Brothers. It’s inspired by The Landlord’s Game, designed by Lizzie Maggie in 1903 as an act of resistance against economic monopolists of the time.
There are several customised editions of the board and Monopoly Dubai marks the 114th city edition.
WHERE TO BUY
Monopoly Dubai is available from leading toy retailers starting from Dh199. However, a call to Toys ‘r’ Us Festival City on Tuesday confirmed that the retailer did not have stock of the board at time of writing. A Hamleys staff member confirmed that they do have the board game for Dh219. A range of Top Trump cards based on Dubai (‘30 Cool Things to Do in Dubai’ and ‘Cars, Camels and Cool Transport’) have also been made.