Park life: Is the UAE ready for a rollercoaster ride?

The postponed $2.7bn Six Flags park in Jebel Ali is now expected to open in 2019, with a 20th Century Fox-themed attraction on the Dubai-to-Al Ain Road planned for the following year.


With Disneyland in Hong Kong, Universal Studios in Singapore and Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, it is almost unconceivable that Dubai, a city featuring some of the world’s most ambitious leisure projects, does not already have an abundance of rollercoasters looping into the sky from coastline to desert.

This will change in the coming days as the grand opening of IMG Worlds of Adventure, which organisers say is the world’s largest indoor theme park, begins an era that some business leisure leaders believe will make the UAE the leading entertainment destination on the planet.

The project, owned by Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group (IMG), is just one in a wave of such developments planned in the UAE before 2020, with more following in the years to come. But it’s not the first time that a theme park boom has been planned in the emirate, of course.

It is just a decade since a similar number of projects were announced. Ground was even broken on some, the remains of which still stand in desert outposts as lingering reminders of the devastating effects of the global financial crisis. More info 

By Jamie Goodwin