By Reuters

Dubai plans to build a 10 billion dirham ($2.7 billion) complex with five theme parks, including ones based on movies and characters from Hollywood and Bollywood cinema industry, to expand its booming tourism sector, the Dubai ruler’s office said on Monday.

Local real estate developers Meraas Holding has been chosen to develop the project, the first stage of which is expected to be completed by 2014, the office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said in a statement on its website.

Located near Dubai’s Jebel Ali port area, the complex is to include an adventure park featuring Hollywood brands, a marine park, a children’s park and a night safari.

Meraas has formed partnerships with several major film studios in Mumbai to obtain content for the Bollywood Parks section, which will include a theatre showing Broadway-style musicals, the statement said.
In addition, the water and marine life park will feature aquatic life, rides and live performances, while a children’s theme park will include entertainment designed for toddlers, preschoolers and primary school children. A night safari will showcase wild desert themed attractions, the statement said.

A tourism boom and a nascent recovery in Dubai’s property market has prompted the emirate to announce a string of projects this year. On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed unveiled plans for a tourism and retail development which, he said, would include 100 hotels and the largest shopping mall in the world.

Chairman of Meraas Holding, Abdulla Ahmed Mohammed Al Habbai said that “Meraas has been working with several industry experts to bring together a powerful mix of components that fulfill the need for a pure entertainment-based destination.”

“The new initiative comes in response to Dubai’s status as a top global touristic destination which will contribute to the growth of the economy,” he added.

Al Habbai also said that the “first-of-its kind” complex features innovative attractions, food menu and theme parks that will be complementing Dubai’s existing leisure dynamic scene.

The announcement comes just days after Sheikh Mohammed launched plans to build a new multi-billion dollar project called Mohammed Bin Rashid City.
The new city development will be built by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties, which will include the world’s biggest shopping mall, a Universal Studios theme park and a green space a third bigger than Hyde Park in London.