Dubai is becoming a major leisure and recreation area not just for the mid-east, but for the entire world. If Disney doesn't build something there, then someone else will, and Disney will either have regrets, or scramble to catch up.
They are building islands in the gulf that resemble the continents of the world which will have mega-million dollar homes on them. They have already completed a sister project called the Palms which are islands that look like palm trees.
They also have what is widely considered to be the best hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab hotel: http://www.burj-al-arab.com
Clearly, they can afford to build a Disneyland type park on their own whether Disney is involved or not. However, let me just say that I don't think that the climate is right for this type of a park. I visited a water park in Dubai that was simply amazing. But it was way too hot for me to enjoy being there. Can you imagine trekking around a Disneyland park in 100+ degree heat? It makes Florida look cool in comparison. They would have to totally redesign the concept of the Magic Kingdom parks to make one work in this environment (in my opinion). That doesn't mean that they won't build one, just that I'm not sure it would be a good fit in this location.
well would be interesting since muslims aren't supposed to shave and women aren't supposed to work so Iguess they would have to import the labor. high oil prices lead to arab royalty with too much money. wish we learned our lessons in the 70's but unfortunately we didn't and now how much of our money leaves the country and into these pockets?
Just a few notes about the country we're discussing... Dubai is the largest city in the UAE, and Abu Dhabi is the second largest city. There are 7 emirates that for the UAE...
Distance from Abu Dhabi to Dubai:
124 km77 miles
The United Arab Emirates (also the UAE or the Emirates) is a Middle Eastern country situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, comprising seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajmān, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Before 1971, they were known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference to a nineteenth-century truce between Britain and several Arab Sheikhs. It borders Oman and Saudi Arabia. The country lacks natural resources, but it is rich in oil and expects recent additional economic diversification to draw more financial and banking firms. The United Arab Emirates became a highly prosperous country after foreign investment began funding the desert-and-coastal nation in the 1970s. The country has a relatively high Human Development Index or HDI for the Asian continent.
Can anyone say - "Disney Stores"?
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (May 12, 2005) -- Dubai-based master planning agency Nakheel (DSE: NKHL) is secretly in talks with the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DSNY) to build their fourth overseas theme park resort in the emirate of Dubai.
Plans call for a fourth Palm Island, of which Nakheel has already built one, with two under construction in varying phases, to house this one-of-a-kind Disney park -- globally acclaimed around the world.
But executives from both sides are hushed as they finalize talks and prepare for a spectacular media press launch.
"We cannot affirm anything at the moment, although we are still scouting locations around the world to spread the magic that Walt started almost 50 years ago," said Disney Resort Executive John Smith, referring to the recent celebrations for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary being held in their flagship Anaheim, Calif. park.
Disney's fourth overseas park -- with one outside Tokyo, Japan; one near Paris, France; a third one to open later this year near Hong Kong, China; and a rumored one outside New Delhi, India -- will feature a "Best of the Best" Disney attractions from around the world.
"We are very proud to add to our roster of large-scale acheivement and this will most likely crown our creative prowess," said a Nakheel executive on conditions of anonymity.
The new Palm Island will be built off the coast of Dubai's Jumeirah Beach right off of the coast where the World Islands -- 300 islands forming the shape of the planet -- are currently being reclaimed.
It will be the smallest island in terms of size and volume but will feature most of Disney's most-loved attractions such as "Indiana Jones Adventure," "Space Mountain," and "It's a Small World."
So if this project actually gets the go ahead, it would be located on a 4th Palm Island (which would be the smallest one built, to date) off the Dubai coast.
See also: http://guide.theemiratesnetwork.com/.../dubailand.php
Dubailand - An Introduction
Dubailand will contain 45 mega projects and over 200 tourism, leisure and entertainment sub projects, making it the most ambitious tourist destination ever created. Dubai land is being created to appeal to the widest audience of tourists, covering all age groups, nationalities and activities.
On completion, Dubailand themepark will be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, making it the biggest theme/amusement park in the world. Phase 1 of the Dubailand project will extend from 2007 to 2010 and the final phase of the Dubailand will be completed between 2015 and 2018.
This from about a year ago:
Disney animated about Dubai's tourism boom
03/23/2006 09:47 PM | By Vinita Bharadwaj
Dubai: The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chief has ruled out launching a Disneyland here in Dubai for the time being.
James Rasulo says the company is keeping an eye on Dubai's tourism growth.
"I'm happy with what's happening here and if there isn't any Disney resort and I mean anywhere in the world, not just Dubai it's because the timing, evolution and opportunity haven't arrived. The Middle East's tourism industry is in its early days and it will probably continue to grow but we have not looked at Dubai as a destination aggressively seeking development," he says.
Rasulo said that he did not think that projects such as Dubailand were any direct threat to Disneyland or any other resorts in their portfolio.
"Family tourism in general is not very popular. Most tourism targets adults and focuses on luxury and shopping. So if Dubai as a destination can become popular among families as a place to holiday then it will be an overall increase for family tourism, which would in turn benefit us," he says.
On hearing about the ambitious Lost World project, Rasulo says that he did plan to look into it further and that he was interested in it.
"I like family experiences that include fantasy and that's what we specialise in doing well. If someone goes to the Lost World and says they loved it then they're going to want to go to more places that offer such an experience and we would be a logical choice."
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has five theme park resorts around the world and the most recent one was opened in Hong Kong. "That was the result of many years of studying and waiting. We watched market trends and the infrastructure and it finally came through as a result of many factors including complicated development deals," he says.
Rasulo is of the opinion that Dubai's successful advertising campaigns in Europe that began five years ago have resulted in more than one-third of its tourists coming from Europe. But they need to go beyond the Atlantic. "At the moment there's very little about Dubai in America and there needs to be more branding out there," he says.