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Home Sections Money & Business PICTURES: Dubai’s $1 billion indoor theme park is the largest on earth

PICTURES: Dubai’s $1 billion indoor theme park is the largest on earth

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Dubai is already home to the world’s tallest building, artificial islands, and the world’s first hotel with a rainforest. And now it’s also home to the largest indoor theme park on earth.

Measuring 1.5 million square feet, IMG Worlds of Adventure — which opened August 31 — is a nod to characters from Cartoon Network and Disney’s Marvel universe.

The $1 billion theme park was opened by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

 


The theme park occupies 1.5 million square foot of indoor space. That’s approximately the same size as 28 American football fields.

The theme park occupies 1.5 million square foot of indoor space. That's approximately the same size as 28 American football fields.

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

IMG Worlds of Adventure cost more than $1 billion to build and is one of the most recent additions to the city’s bid to become an entertainment capital, as high-end hotels and luxury shopping malls increasingly dominate the skyline.

IMG Worlds of Adventure cost more than $1 billion (£750 million) to build and is one of the most recent additions to the city's bid to become an entertainment capital, as high-end hotels and luxury shopping malls increasingly dominate the skyline.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

The huge space can host 30,000 visitors a day and even includes a 12-screen cinema complex with an IMAX screen.

The huge space can host 30,000 visitors a day and even includes a 12-screen cinema complex with an IMAX screen.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

And with theme-park revenue in the United Arab Emirates expected to increase by 78% to $837 million in 2019, the park has a head start in positioning itself as one of the region’s leading entertainment centers.

And with theme-park revenue in the United Arab Emirates expected to increase by 78% to $837 million (£648 million) in 2019, the park has a head start in positioning itself as one of the region's leading entertainment centers.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

The park is divided into four zones: Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure, and IMG Boulevard. Pictured below is the Cartoon Network zone, which includes a 5D cinema and hosts up to 1,200 visitors an hour.

The park is divided into four zones: Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley - Dinosaur Adventure, and IMG Boulevard. Pictured below is the Cartoon Network zone, which includes a 5D cinema and hosts up to 1,200 visitors an hour.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

There are 22 rides and attractions in IMG Worlds of Adventure, including this velociraptor roller coaster that takes riders around the indoor park before speeding through the surrounding desert. The ride is in the Lost Valley zone.

There are 22 rides and attractions in IMG Worlds of Adventure, including this velociraptor roller coaster that takes riders around the indoor park before speeding through the surrounding desert. The ride is in the Lost Valley zone.

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

It propels riders to speeds of up to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, launching them from the deep dark prehistoric jungles of the Lost Valley out into the Dubai desert and back.

It propels riders to speeds of up to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, launching them from the deep dark prehistoric jungles of the Lost Valley out into the Dubai desert and back.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

Elsewhere in the park, Cartoon Network classics like the Powerpuff Girls sit alongside Marvel heroes including the Hulk and Spiderman.

Elsewhere in the park, Cartoon Network classics like the Powerpuff Girls sit alongside Marvel heroes including the Hulk and Spiderman.

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

There are also 25 shops and 28 restaurants and bars — and prices are what you’d expect from Dubai. You can buy a pen for a cool 115,000 dirhams ($31,300 or £24,000).

There are also 25 shops and 28 restaurants and bars — and prices are what you'd expect from Dubai. You can buy a pen for a cool 115,000 dirhams ($31,300 or £24,000).

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

This summer the park is holding its Summer Carnival, which it says will feature “heart-pounding rides, exciting attractions, and marvelous entertainment.”

This summer the park is holding its Summer Carnival, which it says will feature "heart-pounding rides, exciting attractions, and marvelous entertainment."

IMG Worlds of Adventure

The idea of a temperature-controlled indoor theme park is appealing to locals in a place where summer temperatures reach an average high of 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit).

The idea of a temperature-controlled indoor theme park is appealing to locals in a place where summer temperatures reach an average high of 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit).

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

IMG Worlds of Adventure is one of several theme parks attracting tourists to the country. Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, and the $2.8 billion Dubai Parks and Resorts will feature a Six Flags and a Legoland water park when it opens in October.

IMG Worlds of Adventure is one of several theme parks attracting tourists to the country. Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is home to the world's fastest roller coaster, and the $2.8 billion (£2 billion) Dubai Parks and Resorts will feature a Six Flags and a Legoland water park when it opens in October.

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

Dubai hopes to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020, when the World Expo will visit the city. Fourteen million people visited the city in 2015.

Dubai hopes to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020, when the World Expo will visit the city. Fourteen million people visited the city in 2015.

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

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