Dubai Parks and Resorts' spend hits Dh5.8 billion

Dubai Parks and Resorts has said that it remains “firmly focused on monthly milestones” to ensure that it meets its proposed opening date in October.

The management company behind the Dh10 billion resort said that it has 13,500 workers and 41 different contractors on site working to meet the project’s deadline.

It has spent Dh5.8bn on its delivery – up from Dh2.6bn at the end of 2014 – and remains within its proposed budget.

Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, the chief executive of Dubai Parks and Resorts, said: “Construction is progressing well, with 100 per cent of the design, 88 per cent of overall facilities structure works and 70 per cent of overall infrastructure now complete.”

In terms of production of the rides for its three theme parks – Bollywood Parks, Legoland and Motiongate – 89 per cent are complete and 16 rides have been delivered to the site.

Dubai Parks and Resorts has described the construction of the 25 million sq ft complex as a “massive and ambitious undertaking”, as it is the first time that so many parks and attractions are being built simultaneously.

Alongside the three theme parks, there is a Legoland water park, a Marriott-operated hotel, Lapita, and a Riverside district containing retail and food and beverage units.

There are several major local and international contractors on site including Arco, Brookfield Multiplex, Kier, Laing O’Rourke and Six Construct, as well as more than a dozen different ride manufacturers. Project and construction management is being provided by Hill International and Samsung C&T.

“Given the magnitude of this project, we chose to partner with multiple contractors, consultants and architects, rather than just one,” Mr Al Nuami said.

“We have chosen the world’s best and well-known names in construction and entertainment industries.”

He added that one challenge that was faced has been delays to other global theme park projects, which causes a knock-on effect in terms of delivery of rides and entertainment features from a “relatively small pool of qualified suppliers and talent in this highly specialised industry”.

“Dubai Parks and Resorts has been fortunate to put together a very experienced in-house team and group of suppliers who are capable of delivering quality products and services in line with our programme,” Mr Al Nuami said.

“We remain on track and on budget to open in October.”

The company posted a Dh109.2m loss for last year, compared with a Dh21.8m loss in 2014, but it was not expected to make a profit, as it will not generate any revenue until its October opening.

It has already recruited 260 staff and has begun a drive to attract up to 1,000 Emiratis. It also recently began a global audition tour across Mena, the United Kingdom and Australia to attract a team of up to 400 performers in its entertainment team.

Dubai Parks and Resorts is one of several new theme parks under way in the UAE. IMG Holding’s long-awaited IMG World of Adventures indoor theme park is due to open at the end of next month, and there are three others in the pipeline linked to US film studios, including a Warner Brothers project at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and a 20th Century Fox and a Universal Studios project on neighbouring sites in Dubailand.

Last month, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said the number of overnight visitor stays in the emirate increased by 7.5 per cent to a record 14.2 million,

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Michael Fahy

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