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Dubai, with its various attractions, shopping centres and extravagant hotels, has traditionally positioned itself as the world’s playground for the rich and famous. With two new gigantic theme parks and flights to Dubai from £380 return, they want to attract families too.

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Dubai Parks and Resorts
(c) Dubai Parks and Resorts

The new £3bn Dubai Parks and Resorts resort on Sheikh Zayed Road opposite the Palm Jebel Ali opened on October 31st and is hailed as the Middle East’s largest multi-themed theme park. It is hoping to attract more than 6 million visitors every year to visit the Motiongate park featuring Hollywood characters, Bollywood theme park and its rides and attractions based around blockbusters from the Indian film industry, and Legoland park which also has a water theme park. Between them there are 100 rides, shows and attractions spread over 30.6 million square feet.

LEGOLAND at Dubai Parks and Resorts
LEGOLAND (c) Dubai Parks and Resorts

They are all connected by Riverland Dubai – a themed retail and dining destination at the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts, and guests can stay at the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian themed family hotel part of the Marriott Autograph Collection.

Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of DXB Entertainments PJSC, the owner of Dubai Parks and Resorts, said:

Building the Middle East’s largest integrated theme park destination in three years has been an incredible experience. With over 100 rides and attractions spread across 25 million square feet of land  we are focused on delivering a destination which exceeds international standards on every level – from guest experience to state-of-the-art rides and attractions and the highest of safety standards.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai
(c) IMG Worlds of Adventure

However, it won’t be an easy ride as there is stiff competition from IMG Worlds of Adventure which opened in Dubai in August 2016, just two months earlier. The company has collaborated with Marvel and the Cartoon Network and is themed for the likes of cinematic superhero fans.

At 1.5 million square feet (around 28 football pitches) there’s plenty of space to take on The Avengers, Spiderman, and dine at Iron Man’s multi layered sky deck restaurant.

For younger kids there’s a Powerpuff Girls ride and plenty of live shows.

But in case you fancy something a little different the IMG Boulevard is hemmed by shops and restaurants and ghostly maze of the Haunted Hotel.

And there’s no shortage of nourishment. There are 28 eateries and 25 retail outlets and a 12-screen cinema including IMAX, so you can relax after a hard days excitement.

As the world’s largest indoor theme park, there is a lot of space to fill. Lennard Otto, CEO of IMG Worlds of Adventure says:

We expect to host over 4.5 million people in our first year of operation.

How to get there

Virgin Atlantic A330 300
(c) Virgin Atlantic/John M. Dibbs

Virgin Atlantic flies to Dubai from London Gatwick from £380 return (fare correct as of 28 October 2016). Flight duration is approximately 7 hours.


Disclaimer: this article has been sponsored by Virgin Atlantic