Dubai: Dubai is set to open world’s largest indoor theme park this month to lure back some of the tourists and residents who often flee abroad during the scorching desert summer. Lennard Otto, CEO of the new $1 billion attraction, said “Dubai still suffers from a certain amount of seasonality during the June, July, August period. We will hopefully drive tourism in those periods to make Dubai an all-year-round destination.”
Both the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, and Saudi Arabia have launched initiatives this year to create more fun for their car and smartphone-obsessed people. In a sandy suburb beyond Dubai’s concrete jungle and pockets of artificially green spaces, IMG Worlds of Adventure’s boxy exterior belies a 140,000-sq. m air-conditioned cathedral of entertainment teeming with animatronic dinosaurs, roller coasters, Marvel superheroes and Cartoon Network characters. Zombies pop out from dark corners of a haunted house and the Velociraptor coaster throttles passengers within a misty simulated rain forest dubbed the Lost Valley. Families in Dubai have few places to stretch their legs beyond expensive malls while temperatures outside can approach 50 degrees Celsius.