UNIVERSAL STUDIOS DUBAILAND
Part of Dubailand
PROJECT ON HOLD
Park News - (6/9/11) The Theme Park Guy has posted a nice look back at the start of construction for what should have been Dubai’s first theme park… Universal Studios Dubailand. While construction never really got beyond the dirt pushing phase, they did dig out a sizable hole for the park’s central fake lake as you can see in exclusive aerial photos of the site.
With the latest news reports claiming that they want to get this park project back on track again the real question is… will they attempt to reuse this same site on the outskirts of the rest of Dubai’s developments, or move it all to a site closer to the rest of the city?
(5/24/11) According to this article, Dubailand is back to having talks with their developers in order to try and get the scaled-back project back on track and moving forward again by the end of the year. They are also expected to announce this newly revised and scaled-back masterplan for the project later this year as well.
(5/20/11) According to this article, Tatweer Parks is currently back in talks with Universal Studios and Merlin Entertainment about building those theme parks that they announced a few years ago. They want to focus entirely on building only Universal Studios Dubailand and Legoland Dubai right now and will no longer be attempting to build any of the other park projects announced (aka: Dreamworks, Six Flags, Marvel Comics, etc…).
I’ve got to say that this is the first really smart move I’ve seen out of Dubai in a long time… as it was pure insanity to think they could build, let alone support, all of the projects they announced all at the same time. Focusing on building these two parks, each able to lure in their own different market segments, is the best way to go.
(2/18/10) It’s not much, but check out the concept art on the wall behind the guy in this photo. I’m told that’s all stuff for the queue for the King Kong themed coaster planned for Universal Studios Dubailand where guests wander around creepy jungle ruins past giant bats and huge slug creatures before they make their way to the coaster itself, which is a copy of Dueling Dragons from Islands of Adventure.
(11/24/09) While we haven’t heard much lately from Universal Studios Dubailand, I did get a rather interesting rumor awhile back claiming that since the park project had really yet to move even beyond basic dirt moving, the entire project may be moved to a new location. The new rumored location is said to give it access to major roads (while the first site was very remote) and will have access to a train station as well, and be fairly close to the F1-X project. As for the first site… as you can see in photos posted in late October to TheThemeParkGuy.com show that the site appears to be nothing more than desert sand slowly overtaking a lonely blacktop road.
(8/11/09) A Screamscape source has confirmed that the first shipments of equipment from Premier Rides are now on their way to Universal Studios Dubailand, which is perhaps the best sign of possible life we’ve seen from Dubai in the last year.
(8/5/09) According to this news article Tatweer is reviewing all of their contracts and deals to build the Universal Studios Dubailand park to find any and all ways to cut costs.
(6/16/09) One of our sources reported in to tell us that pretty much nothing at all is going on over at the Universal Studios Dubailand site. In fact… it may as well be a graveyard. The site is dead… no employees going in or out… and locked up tight with a gate. I guess being On Hold really means the entire project is On Hold until they are ready to start work again.
(3/31/09) Screamscape spies tell us that the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad attraction is actually a copy of the Templo Del Fuego from Port Aventura with a new theme and new story. The main show room will be themed like a cavern, with a large Cyclops Head in the center instead of the Fire God. You can see some footage of the Fuego version of the attraction on YouTube.
(3/29/09) I’ve been sent a few more bits of information about Universal Studios Dubailand, this time the information clues us in a bit more about what attractions may be in the Legendary Heroes section of the park. We all know the main attraction of this land will be the Revenge of the Mummy indoor dark coaster ride, but I’m still curious about this Sinbad themed attraction, which I’m told has been given the temporary name of “8th Voyage of Sinbad” just like the Orlando stunt show. From the basic description we had before however, this attraction sounded more like a new walk-through adventure idea, more like Poseidon’s Fury, than just another stunt show. As I mentioned previously, the area will also be home to King Tot’s Oasis, a combination of an outdoor water play area along with an indoor foam ball play zone. But I’ve been told there will be one more “ride” installed into this area… something called Flight of the Roc, where the Roc is a mythic giant bird creature from Arab and Persian lore, big enough to carry off a full grown elephant in it’s claws. While I have no clues as to what kind of ride it may be, if I had to guess I would say either some kind of family suspended/inverted coaster or more than likely, a themed flat ride.
(3/21/09) Earlier this month I had heard some new details about the park’s Surf City area attractions, and this week I was sent some new information about the New York side of the park. To date, very little official information has been released about the New York area, but barring any major budget cuts this area should have a couple of the park’s most memorable attractions. No, I’m not talking about the Hooray for Bollywood stage show, I’m talking about that rumored Ghostbusters dark ride. The bits and pieces I’m hearing so far indicate that this isn’t just a copy of the Men In Black ride from Orlando with a new theme, but instead this will be a major new attraction designed from the ground up to bring the world of Ghostbusters to life.
The other new attraction is the proverbial Elephant in the room... seen in the concept artwork on display already but never talked about... it’s a clone of the Incredible Hulk coaster from Islands of Adventure. However, while the ride itself seems to be a copy of the Hulk, I’ve heard more confirmations that this version will be themed to the Men In Black film series. In fact, it may even keep the same Men in Black: Alien Attack name as the Florida dark ride, but don’t let that confuse you. I’ve been told that guests will enter the ride through an area that may look like the nondescript Battery Park building seen in the first film, passing a lone security guard who puts your group onto an elevator for a faux ride down to the underground MIB HQ. From here I can only speculate that the Earth is about to come under attack of some kind and park guests will be loaded into a coaster train and launched back to “the surface” to combat whatever alien scum you can find. Works for me... now lets just get the park built.
(3/1/09) Last week it was mentioned that Universal Studios Dubailand and Sesame Street had come to an agreement to put Sesame themed attractions into the park’s Surf City land. This week we have a possible list of all the attractions for that area of the park which includes the Sesame Street 4D theater attraction, the Carou-Sea-Sal (Sesame themed Carousel that may look like a giant Sand Castle), something called Curious George takes a Ride (the large car ride maybe?), something called Surfs Up and a Woody’s Nuthouse Coaster.
(2/24/09) Universal Studios Dubailand and Sesame Workshop have signed an agreement to create three unique Sesame Street themed attractions for the new theme park, all to be contained within the park’s Surf City area. There will be a Sesame Street 4D Movie Magic film, a themed carousel as well as a live stage show.
(2/11/09) According to the latest rumors the clone of the Incredible Hulk coaster in Universal Dubailand will actually be given a Men In Black theme this time around, which makes sense given the New York location of the ride. Meanwhile the area will also have the Ghostbusters dark ride experience, which I’ve been told will not simply be a clone of Florida’s Men In Black dark ride system. In fact it will apparently use a new trackless dark ride system this time around.
(1/22/09) Another Screamscape source has come forward to confirm that a Ghostbusters themed ride is indeed going into Universal Studios Dubailand. Unfortunately they had no other details they could offer at this point. Too bad the entire park has just been delayed until early 2012.
(1/19/09) According to this news article, Universal Studios Dubailand has delayed the park’s grand opening until the first quarter of 2012 at the earliest.
(11/14/08) Yesterday’s announcement that a Ghostbusters themed ride was on the way opened a flood gate of enthusiasm for the idea, as well as loosening the lips of a few other sources who claimed that the project was going to be part of Universal Studios Dubailand. This makes sense since the New York themed area of the park did seem to lack having a major attraction, other than the Hulk clone coaster. While no more details were mentioned, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Ghostbusters ride were to use the same basic ride system already in use on Men In Black in Orlando, as it would be a great fit. More on this as I find out.
(10/31/08) TheThemeParkGuy went out in search of the old Universal Studios Duabiland model that was set up some time ago and was able to take a ton of new pictures of it.
(10/29/08) I’ve managed to get a better look at the artwork (see sidebar) of both the King Kong dueling coasters as well as what appears to be an Incredible Hulk Clone thanks to TheThemeParkGuy.com. Upon closer inspection of the King Kong coaster, I have to say that the artists conception of the layout does appear to be very similar to that of Dueling Dragons. Keep in mind that this is just an artists concept of the ride, so it may not indicate the true layout, but this does match up with a rumor we’ve heard that the layout was likely a copy of the infamous IOA coaster.
As for the park’s other big coaster, it’s clear that the Incredible Hulk clone will not be Hulk themed of course since the Marvel characters were licensed off to another park project in Dubai. From the artwork we do know that the big green coaster will be placed in the New York section of the park. Unfortunately New York’s famous monster has already been spoken for in the form of King Kong on the other side of the park, so I’m out of ideas for the moment as to what the theme of this ride may be. The New York section of the Florida park is no help for inspiration as it is home only to The Mummy coaster and Twister, and I doubt they would theme the coaster to the later. On a side note however, we’ve heard a rumor that this version of the coaster may actually feature B&M’s Floorless trains.
(10/27/08) For anyone looking to browse through the preview guide for Universal Studios Dubailand, a digital copy of it can be found online here.
(10/24/08) With all the news over Universal Studios Dubailand lately, I’ve decided that the park now deserves it’s own page and have moved all the information about this park here from the general Dubailand project page. Now for the big news...
I got a chance to go over the entire Universal Studios Dubailand preview guide with a fine tooth comb and pulled out a few more details. First off, outside the new theme park will be The Boulevard of Universal City Dubailand, which will act as their version of CityWalk offering up music, dining, shopping and movies. Beyond here will be the Universal City Dubailand Hotels, a collection of “magnificently-themed four star and five star world-class hotels”. It also claims that 60% of the guest areas will be air-conditioned and 50% of the linking pathways will be “air-cooled”.
As for the park itself, it will be divided up into five themed lands: Hollywood, Surf City, New York, Epic Adventures and Legendary Heroes. Much like the Florida park, Hollywood should be the theme of the main entrance area and will include a Mel’s Diner building. Nothing else was really mentioned or added as a visual hint about any area attractions.
New York will be another heavily themed area, not unlike the New York area of the Florida park. The artwork shows off a small Blues Brothers stage area built into the side of one of the brownstone buildings. It also mentions walking around Gramercy Park Square which will be air-conditioned under a protective canopy. At the heart of it all will be the Broadway Rose Theater where the “Hooray for Bollywood”. Yes, you read that right… a classic Bollywood show full of musical numbers and costumed dancers.
Legendary Heroes will be home to the Revenge of the Mummy indoor roller coaster / dark ride adventure experience. There will also be some kind of Sinbad themed attraction described as follows, “Take a journey with Captain Sinbad, the most daring swashbuckler to sail the seven seas. Enter the inner sanctum of an eerie underground temple, unleashing the fury of a giant, stone-sculpted demon amidst a barrage of explosive fire and water.” In raw form, this area sounds like a tweaked version of IOA’s Lost Continent where they mix the Mummy ride with what almost sounds like a Sinbad driven version of Poseidon’s Fury along with a marketplaze bazaar of merchant stalls as you move through the village of “Souk”. Toss into the mix a giant themed foam ball fight zone and King Tot’s Oasis, a large outdoor water play area.
Epic Adventures will be home to both King Kong, Jurassic Park and Waterworld. The guide confirms that Kong and Skull Island will be the theme of a giant dueling pair of roller coasters. “Reaching speeds up to 60mph as you escape from Skull Island, King Kong launches guests towards each other on one of two inverted, intertwined tracks that come within inches of collision.” Yes, it sounds like they will try to recreate Dueling Dragons (possibly with a new layout) and sent guests off for a huge kongfrontation. What’s really throwing me off about this land however is the giant themed arch-shaped building seen in the various pieces of concept art. I’m not sure if this is part of an attraction or just one of the various covers for an air-conditioned zone.
Finally we come to Surf City, a kid friendly area that will feature a Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster. There will be a carousel themed like a sand castle allowing you to take a spin riding on various “inflatable beach toys” on what they promise will be one of the biggest carousels on Earth. Take a drive along the shore on Frantic Freeway, as you drive one of six uniquely themed cars down the boardwalk, past a funhouse, flying pies and up on an aerial bridge.
And that’s it... with perhaps my one remaining burning question being about why there was no mention at all about that coaster in the artwork that looked like a copy of IOA’s Incredible Hulk. Has it been dropped, or are they just saving it for a surprise announcement? Time will tell.
(10/22/08) Special thanks to TheThemeParkGuy.com for sending in some pictures of the brochure for Universal Studios Dubailand. While I couldn’t quite make it all out the brochure mentions something about “the terrors of King Kong” on one page. In the artwork of the entire park you can see what seems to be a dueling coaster ride with red and green track, which I’ve got to wonder if this will be a copy of the same Inverted vs Upright dueling coaster concept I was told was coming to the Singapore park. Given the rocky jungle theme in the artwork around this coaster, I’ve I can’t help but wonder if it might not have a King Kong theme to it. Other items I spied in the artwork is the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, a river rapids ride through the jungle’s of Jurassic Park where it looks like your encounter with the T-Rex will happen on a lift hill. There also seems to be a Waterworld show stadium, an area I can’t quite figure out with some bright round buildings and a giant boat (Mummy area perhaps?) and to the left of the main gate what seems to be a copy of the Incredible Hulk coaster from Islands of Adventure.
(9/12/08) Today I’ve got a a few photo updates to share for the various projects going on in Dubai thanks to TheThemeParkGuy.com. Up first is a look at the office building for Universal Studios Dubailand where they’ve build a mini-version of the classic Universal Studios entrance gate. There is also an aerial photo of the park site where they are actually doing a lot of ground work so far.
(8/1/08) Universal Studios Dubailand held an official groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week for the new theme park. As part of the event a few of the characters that will be part of the park’s five themed lands made appearances. These included Woody & Winnie Woodpecker from the Surf City Boardwalk land, a large Raptor from the Epic Adventures land and “two fierce Nubian Guards” from the Land of Legendary Heroes. At this point we can assume the park will feature both Jurassic Park and Mummy themed attractions of some kind based on the characters present. The press release mentions that the remaining two lands in the park will be themed to Hollywood and New York City. It sounds amazing, but the plan is to open the new park by 2010, giving them just two short years to build not only the theme park but the surrounding Universal City Dubailand resort area that will include resort hotels as well as numerous retail and dining options.
(5/8/07) A Screamscape reader was lucky enough to tour the preview center set up for the announcement of the new Universal Studios Dubailand park and sent in a ton of photos of this newest park which shows off a number of attractions, especially the unique looking King Kong coaster, signage for the 8th Voyage of Sinbad stunt show, something tied to Fast & The Furious, a Woody Woodpecker kiddie coaster, and an unknown yellow coaster. It also seems as if the Jurassic Park River Adventure will actually be more of a River Rapids style ride and not the same kind of ride that we’ve seen them build before. Take a look at the pictures and enjoy!