Abu Dhabi's $1 billion Warner Bros theme park to entertain visitors throughout summer
Tickets for the indoor Yas Island theme park are on sale from today
An indoor theme park that was seven years in the making will arrive in Abu Dhabi this summer as the emirate looks to boost its year-round tourism draw and entertain families throughout the summer.
The $1 billion Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi on Yas Island boasts 29 rides over more than 1.6 million square feet and will open on July 25.
It contains six immersive zones featuring live performance shows and superhero characters.
Tickets went on sale on Wednesday for those who will be the first to see Superman's Metropolis, Batman's Gotham City and the Flintstones' Bedrock.
“The launch of Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is yet another milestone in the Emirate’s journey to further enrich its tourism offering, and help establish it as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations," said Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of Miral.
"We are thrilled that fans will be able to enjoy the outcome of this partnership and the massive, fun and engaging park offerings in a few months.”
Costumed actors will mingle with visitors as they make their way through the huge complex.
Mr Mubarak said the park will provide a big boost for Yas Island.
“We definitely expect more than the 27 million visitors that visited Yas Island last year,” he said.
He said the huge investment would take many years to recover, but said the project was a long term investment in Abu Dhabi's future.
“It is a business that is ever-changing and continues to need equity if you are ahead of the game, so you are always injecting cash to make sure you are getting the most advanced rides and creative new worlds," he said.
Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is on the outskirts of the city and is largely outdoor, had a difficult 2017, posting substantial losses of more than Dh1 billion.
It has since restructured and managed to boost visitor numbers, particularly targeting the Gulf states. More than 850,000 people passed through its gates in the first three months of this year, a 45 per cent increase on the previous year.
“I expect to perform very strongly - even as we have been in tough market in 2017, we’ve seen over 10 per cent growth in tourism numbers," Mr Mubarak said.
“We’ve seen markets grow in the emirates from China to India to Saudi Arabia, continuing sustainable growth from the UK and from France.”
Mark Gsellman, general manager of Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, said the growth of superhero culture and films makes the park a big draw.
“Superman, Batman, Gotham City, Metropolis - people grew up with these characters and so did their children," he said.
The park's stores will also offer high-end memorabilia, which has its own large following, some of which will not be available anywhere else.
"There is plenty of opportunity to buy whatever your heart desires,” Mr Gsellman added.
Updated: April 20, 2018 09:38 AM