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Top 10 GCC entertainment projects under construction

Construction Week takes a look at the biggest entertainment projects currently under construction across the GCC

A look at the biggest entertainment projects currently under construction across the GCC.
A look at the biggest entertainment projects currently under construction across the GCC.

10. Alpine-themed snow park, Oman

The first snow park attraction to be built in Oman is set to open later this year, sited in the Mall of Muscat.

The Al Jarwani Group is developing the project, in partnership with Tamani Entertainment and Dutch company Unlimited Snow, both specialising in the entertainment and leisure sector.

“What makes the Mall of Muscat’s snow park really special and unique is that it is totally different from any other snow park concept in the region, in terms of combining the latest snow technology, incredible attention to detail, plus the number of rides it offers.

“It will also provide job opportunities to Omanis and will be one of the key tourist attractions in the Sultanate,” said Sheikh Mahmood Al Jarwani, chairman of Al Jarwani Group.

9. Funoon District, Sharjah

Dubai-based restaurant consultancy, Restaurant Secrets Inc. (RSI), has announced that it is set to launch Funoon District, a project that is under development in Sharjah.

An extension of the Al Majaz Amphitheatre development, Funoon Districtis being billed as an art, food, and entertainment hub that will play host to more than 20 food trucks, kiosks, restaurants, and cafés, with the focus on UAE brands.

In a statement, RSI said that work is underway, with the project expected to be ready to open to the public in the last quarter of this year.

According to Ralph Homer, chief executive officer of RSI, the company was appointed as the project’s destination developer and lease management company by HH Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah Media Council.

8. Marassi Galleria entertainment centre, Bahrain

Eagle Hills Diyar has signed an agreement with Emaar Entertainment to bring an entertainment centre to its Marassi Galleria project in Bahrain.

The 13,200m2 centre will be the first major leisure & entertainment (L&E) attraction by Emaar Entertainment in the kingdom and its first international expansion in the GCC.

Part of the 200,000m2 Marassi Galleria, the entertainment centre will include virtual reality, a luxury cinema, extreme free-slide, nature climb, a kids play zone, an aquarium, zip-wiring, trampolining, and a Digital Family Entertainment Centre, according to Maher Al Shaer, Managing Director of Eagle HillsDiyar.

7. CYMB, Abu Dhabi

Yas Island’s CLYMB venue, which will house the world’s widest flight chamber and tallest indoor climbing wall is due to be completed in 2018. 

The new attraction will include a flight chamber with a width of 9.75 metres and what will be the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall at a height of 43 metres.

CLYMB will also include retailers, food and beverage outlets, and a space to host parties. It will also be linked to other attractions on Yas Island.

Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said: “It will include a very futuristic design and will be connected to Yas Mall and Ferrari World through an air-conditioned tunnel, creating a fully indoor experience.”

6. Yas Arena, Abu Dhabi

Construction work has begun on the 18,000-seat Yas Arena in Abu Dhabi, Dutch contractor BAM International said on Monday.

The announcement follows the company’s appointment last month by Miral, the master developer for the $3.2bn (AED12bn) Yas Baydevelopment project that will also include a plaza and nearby retail and F&B spaces, according to Arabian Business.

HOK and WSPwere appointed as part of the design team, with support from Pascall+Watson in early 2017. HOK also designed the adjacent arena retail and dining destination along the project’s boardwalk.

5. Six Flags, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has signed an agreement to open a Six Flags-branded theme park in the country.

The project will be located in Qiddiya, and open in 2022, Saudi Arabia's press agency confirmed.

The Six Flags-branded amusement facility will be the country's first entertainment, sports, and cultural destination.

PIF's agreement with Six Flags is in line with the kingdom's Vision 2030 to diversify the country's economy, promote culture and entertainment locally, and develop an entertainment ecosystem.

4. Dubai Arena

Meeras Holding is build the Dubai Arena, a 20,000-seat, indoor events stadium, to be completed at City Walk by 2018.

The multipurpose arena, set to cover more than 46,000sqm, will accommodate large international concerts, sporting events, touring productions and other entertainment events within a fully air-conditioned venue.

The arena will also have automatically changeable seating to allow adjustability for different events, Gulf News reported.

Abdullah Al Habbai, Meraas group chairman, said: “The new destination will enrich Dubai’s existing infrastructure and will add a new state-of-the-art venue that will accommodate international events and will raise Dubai’s credentials as a premium leisure and entertainment hub."

3. Warner Bros Abu Dhabi

The Warner Bros-branded theme park under development in Abu Dhabi will open this July.

Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, estimated to be worth $1bn (AED3.67bn), will open at Yas Island on 25 July, 2018, a listing on its website confirms.

Six sections – dummed 'immersive worlds' – have been created across the indoor theme park, each set aside for themes including Warner Bros Plaza (pictured), Gotham City, Metropolis, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, and Dynamite Gulch.

The park comprises 29 rides, in addition to dining options and retail units.

2. Sea World Abu Dhabi

UAE-based Miral has partnered with SeaWorld Entertainment to develop a marine life theme park in the country’s capital by 2022.

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be a next-generation marine life themed park experience, as well as the UAE’s first marine life research, rescue, rehabilitation, and return centre.

In a joint statement, SeaWorld said: “We announced our partnership with Miral to develop SeaWorld Abu Dhabi on Yas Island.

“And as part of our commitment to being the world's largest marine animal rescue organisation, SeaWorld Abu Dhabiwill also include the UAE’s first dedicated marine life research, rescue, rehabilitation, and return centre with world-class facilities and resources for the care and conservation of local marine life.”

1. Qiddiya Entertainment City, Saudi Arabia

Phase 1 of Saudi Arabia's 334km2 Qiddiya entertainment city is set to complete in 2022. 

The project will be built in Al-Qiddiya, which is located 40km west of Saudi's capital city, Riyadh. 

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, patronised the project's foundation ceremony on 28 April, 2018.

Michael Reininger, chief executive officer (CEO) of the project, said the development would feature facilities such as amusement parks, game cities, racing fields, and safaris.

Additional planned facilities include toy cities, recreation centers and sports facilities, training academies, desert and asphalt tracks for motor sports enthusiasts, water and snow recreation activities, outdoor adventure spaces, and safari and nature experiences, as well as historical, cultural and scientific activities.

Qiddiya will also include shopping centres, restaurants, cafés, hotels, and real estate projects.

The development will be based on five major themes, including parks and attractions, mobility, nature and the environment, sports, and health, culture, arts, and education.

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