In the year following a brief phase of stagnation in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been investing heavily in construction again. By the time of the Expo in Dubai in 2020, the city is out to establish itself as the tourism destination for tourists and business travelers by increasing the number of visitors to 20 million, doubling the number of 2012. Like everything in Dubai, the vision is big.
Dubai's amusement industry is also profiting from the renewed investment boom and the development of the city's tourism and amusement market is moving ahead at a rapid pace. But where there was once talk of a whole series of new amusement parks at the "Dubailand" entertainment complex. today there is still only one: IMG Worlds of Adventure, which opened in the summer of 2016 as the home of the world's largest indoor amusement park.
Occupying a total space of approximately 13.9, this indoor park belongs to the Ilyas [&] Mustafa Galadari Group and is located on the south-eastern edge of the city of Dubai. It is a component of the master plan for the "City of Arabia", a multi-billion US Dollar construction project initiated by the Galadari brothers ob Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.
A massive building complex rises from the desert sands to greet visitors coming to spend an entertaining day at IMG. The park's capacity is cited at up to 30,000 guests a day. "Probably one of the bigger USPs is that we eliminate seasonality - we're offering an attraction which the residents need in the summer months, at the moment especially families. So being indoors definitely gives a competitive edge," says IMG Worlds CEO Lennard Francois Otto in describing one of the park's compelling USPs.
Upon entering the facility visitors quickly recognize that a high-quality range of amusement attractions awaits them. Falcon's Treehouse from Orlando, Florida was responsible for IMG's complete master planning as well as the design of its major attractions, the media content of its media-based attractions and the interior design of the F[&]b outlets and the shops. A character from the individual theme areas greets guests in the entrance area. The hall is divided up into four large theme areas with a total range of attractions sure to have something for people of all ages and tastes. The attractions cover everything from the popular Cartoon Network figures for small children to action heroes including "Hulk", "Iron Man" and "Spider-Man" from the Marvel brand.
Right after passing through the turnstiles visitors can drop off their belongings in lockers if they so choose. Then in the center of the parking facility, they enter onto "IMG Boulevard", an American-style shopping avenue featuring numerous shops and cafes. 25 retail outlets stocked with more than 5,000 merchandise articles promise loads of shopping fun here.
The park is particularly proud of its extensive range of gastronomy facilities featuring of 28 F[&]B outlets. Lennard Otto explains further, "We have developed more than 13 different types of cuisines, so we have an international menu offering to make sure that we cater to the international audience that is synonymous with Dubai."
Visitors quickly note that authenticity and quality are the top priorities at the restaurants here. Highlights include "Chang's Golden Dragon" restaurant or "Spice Valley" where guests can also be seated in a converted Indian bus.
Guests moving to the left along IMG Boulevard will come straight to "The Haunted Hotel", one of the park's most popular attractions up to now. This walk-through attraction toys with guests' horror fantasies. Before moving on through the hotel's various rooms they are first treated to a pre-show (all of the AV elements here are from Kraftwerk) to get them in the mood for the doom[&]gloom to come! Throughout their stay in The Haunted Hotel guests encounters horror scenarios featuring themes from A-Tech Thailand and IMG Industries, enhanced further by live actors for an additional fear factor. During last year's Halloween period IMG added, even more, horror features around the park and The Haunted Hotel was a rousing success.
"Marvel" and "Cartoon Network" are the two major IP brands adorning IMG Worlds of Adventure. Lennard Otto explains, "Cartoon Network is the most watched kid's channel in this regions, plus it airs in 194 countries around the world - these brands give us a great global audience."
The unique ride at IMG in Dubai is housed in the "Marvel" theme area and called "Hulk Epsilon Base 3D". Naturally, the waiting area has also been designed in line with the attraction's story line. Once they've passed through the entrance area visitors enter a room where a monitor shows a short animated film training them for their upcoming mission.
IMG Worlds of Adventure CEO Lennard Otto clearly sees this unique new ride as one of the favorites among the more than 22 attractions at the park: "If I look at it per zone, the Hulk ride is a very unique attraction that we have installed in the Marvel world. I think the experience is world-class and people are really enjoying it."