Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Dubai Monopoly: new UAE-centric board game launches

You can now buy a virtual Burj Al Arab

The official Dubai version of one of the world's most popular board games, Monopoly, has launched. With Mr Moneybags, the Go To Jail square and Free Parking all accounted for.

The game has players earn a salary of M200 (is that Dh200?) as they pass go, and you can buy the Dubai Frame, Atlantis The Palm and Burj Khalifa. In the top spot is Burj Al Arab.

What is on the Dubai Monopoly board?

Unlike many international editions, the Dubai spaces are a mix of landmarks, areas and even a school; traditionally they are street names or areas.

The brown squares are Sheikh Zayed Road and the centuries-old Al Fahadi area; Citywalk, Xclusive Yachts and La Mer are light blue; Atlantis Aquaventure, Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Frame are pink and Al Seef, Festival City and Mall of the Emirates are orange.

The game progresses to Dubai Opera, Nord Anglia International School Dubai and Global Village in the red spots. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Hotel are yellow, while Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Atlantis The Palm and Burj Khalifa are green.

That leaves just the prestigious dark-blue spots, with Bluewaters Island and Burj Al Arab taking the top slots.

Launch of the brand new Dubai Monopoly board at a special event on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab. Antonie Robertson / The National
A close-up look at the new Dubai Monopoly board at the launch event on Monday, November 4, at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

"Dubai is a mesmerising place ... it has a real 'can do' thing about it," Tom Liddell, chief executive of toy manufacturer Winning Moves, said at the game's launch at Burj Al Arab on Monday, after explaining the game had been in the works for four years.

"Eventually, we agreed who should be top of the board, although there was some squabbling here and there, I’m sure," he added of the more prestigious spaces on the board.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 04 November 2019. Launch of the brand new Dubai Monopoly board at a special event on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Farah Andrews. Section: The National.
Mr Moneybags, also known as Rich Uncle Pennybags, arrives at the launch of Dubai Monopoly. Antonie Robertson / The National

The game was officially unveiled at a gala event, with Mr Moneybags, also known as Rich Uncle Pennybags, in attendance, naturally. His controversial niece, Ms Monopoly, was nowhere to be seen on launch night.

The game will be available to buy on Tuesday, November 5, at toy shops, book shops and online stores across the UAE.

The history of Monopoly

In 1935, Charles Darrow, came up with the idea of a buying and selling property game, which he ultimately sold the Parker Brothers, the toy and game manufacturer, which went on to become Hasbro.

It can also be traced back to a 1903 game called The Landlord Game which was invented by anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie.

Little has changed about Monopoly since Darrow’s pre-World War Two version.

To date, there are thousands of versions of the game, but only 114 city editions.

When speaking about how to have a successful game of Monopoly, Liddell advised the crowd to "stick to the rules", "trade, don't sit on your properties" and "buy everything you can early on" – saying that those tips mirror his rules for life.

Updated: November 5, 2019 11:13 AM

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