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Dubai Ruler Approves $2.7 Billion Theme Parks Development

Dubai’s ruler approved building five theme parks valued at 10 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion) three days after he announced the development of a new district that includes the world’s biggest shopping mall and gardens bigger than London’s Hyde Park.

Meraas Holding, a Dubai-based real estate developer, will build Dubai Adventures Studios on 30 million square feet (2.8 square kilometers), according to a statement on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s website. The first phase of the project was announced in December 2011.

Dubai is reviving developments that stalled after the property market crashed starting in 2008. The emirate, which already has the world’s largest mall and the tallest skyscraper, racked up $113 billion of debt making itself into a business and tourism hub. About $7 billion of the debt matures next year and $32 million in 2014, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in an October report.

Dubai Adventure Studios “set to host popular Hollywood brands” will anchor the project, according to the statement. It will include a Bollywood Park to show Indian movies and theater productions as well as an aquatic and marine life park and a destination for toddlers. Dubai aims to attract 16 million visitors to the development every year once the first phase is completed in 2014, according to the statement.

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