Universal Studios Dubailand

Universal Studios Dubailand
Location Dubailand, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Coordinates 25°3′33″N 55°23′0″E / 25.05917°N 55.38333°E / 25.05917; 55.38333Coordinates: 25°3′33″N 55°23′0″E / 25.05917°N 55.38333°E / 25.05917; 55.38333
Owner Dubai Holding
Operated by Universal Parks & Resorts
Area 20,000,000 square feet (1,900,000 m2)
Total 12
Roller coasters 4
Water rides 2
Status Cancelled[1][2]

Universal Studios Dubailand was a proposed Universal theme park located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its plans called for it to be located within Dubailand, a planned entertainment mega-complex. The project broke ground in July 2008 but was put on hold shortly thereafter, and as of December 2012, no construction work has taken place on the project since early 2009.[3]


Universal Studios Dubailand was a joint venture costing over 8 billion dirhams ($2.2 billion US) between Universal Studios and Tatweer, a subsidiary of Dubai Holdings. The theme park was announced on April 30, 2007 with a theme park plan that expected to attract 5 million visitors annually and was scheduled to be completed in 2010.

The project broke ground July 27, 2008,[4] but the global financial crisis at the time prompted the developers to announce that they would delay further development, and push back the opening until at least the first quarter of 2012.[5][6] However, no construction work on the project site has been reported since at least early 2009. As of mid-2012, the only public evidence of the project is a gate bearing the Universal Studios logo.

The identity of the Dubai joint venture partner is no longer clear, as Tatweer was dissolved in mid-2010, with most of its assets merged into TECOM or other members of Dubai Holdings.

In April 2011, Universal was once again in talks with Dubai officials about finishing the Universal park. However, as of late 2012, there had still not been any construction progress on the proposed site.[3]

In late November 2012, Dubai's ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced Dubai's renewed intentions to invest in an array of development projects in the desert just outside central Dubai, including the world's largest mall and an attached Universal Studios branded "family entertainment centre".[3][7]

On October 27, 2016, it was announced that plans for the Universal Studios Dubailand theme park has officially been scrapped.[8]

Themed areas


The area was to be designed a lot like Universal Studios Florida's Hollywood area. It was expected to feature a Mel’s Diner building as seen at Universal's Florida and Singapore parks.[9] Restaurant chain Planet Hollywood was thought to be planning on opening their largest restaurant in the area.

New York

A heavily themed area featuring a Blues Brothers outdoor show and a Hooray for Bollywood indoor show. The area was also expected to feature an air-conditioned undercover Gramercy Park Square.[9]

Surf City

A boardwalk / beach themed area for kids expected to have feature Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, a sand castle themed carousel and Frantic Freeway.[9]

Epic Adventures

Epic Adventures would have been the home to Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, Waterworld and a new King Kong dueling roller coaster.[9]

Legendary Heroes

Legendary Heroes was expected to be the home of another incarnation of the Revenge of the Mummy indoor roller coaster. It was also set to be the home to the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad, a foam ball play area and King Tot's Oasis (a water play area).[9]

See also


  1. Theme Park Investigator. "In Memoriam: Universal Studios Dubailand". Theme Park Investigator.
  2. "Universal Studios Dubailand: A Case Study on the Rise and Fall of Dubai". Fast Company. 24 August 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 "Dubai, buy, buy: Gulf state starts to build again". The Independent. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013. In the desert outside the city stands the shell of the last large-scale leisure development – a 107-square-mile entertainment complex called Dubailand which was meant to house the world's largest array of theme parks. The signs for what would have been Universal Studios are whipped by the sand, and its gate leads nowhere.
  4. "Groundbreaking at Universal Studios Dubailand".
  5. Suzanne Fenton (2009-01-15). "Job cuts on the rise in Dubai". www.gulfnews.com. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  6. Zachary Wilson (23 August 2009). "Universal Studios Dubailand: A Case Study on the Rise and Fall of Dubai". Associated Press. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  7. "Dubai plans world's largest mall". New York Daily News. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. http://www.arabianbusiness.com/dubai-s-plan-for-universal-studios-theme-park-scrapped--650651.html
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Universal Studios Dubailand. Retrieved 19.06.10 from Screamscape.
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