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Nickelodeon, UAE group in deal on Dubai theme park

Stars of the highly-rated Nickelodeon TV show "Spongebob Square Pants", Spongebob Square Pants (L) and his friend Patrick Starfish (C) ventured to Hasbro Games to unveil a line of Nickelodeon licensed games in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in this February 16, 2005 file photo. UAE's Al Ahli Group and Viacom's <VIA.N> Nickelodeon unit have agreed to feature Nickelodeon's cartoon characters at a theme park being built in Dubai, according to a statement issued on Thursday. REUTERS/Handout jr

DUBAI (Reuters) - UAE’s Al Ahli Group and Viacom’s Nickelodeon unit have agreed to feature Nickelodeon’s cartoon characters at a theme park being built in Dubai, according to a statement issued on Thursday.

Patrick Starfish, Dora the Explorer, Diego, and Blue’s Clues are among the Nickelodeon characters that will be seen at the park which is set to open in the United Arab Emirates by 2011. The statement did not give the value of the deal.

The $1 billion park, the first of its kind in the region, is being developed by U.S.-based Marvel Entertainment Inc, which licenses comic book heroes such as Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, and construction and real estate company Al Ahli Group. The project was announced in March.

Dubai, the Gulf’s trading and tourism hub, is developing a number of major leisure projects in a drive to attract 15 million tourist per year by 2015, up from 6.5 million in 2006.

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