Dubai firm says partner bankruptcy won't halt park

DUBAI, June 15 (Reuters) - Tatweer, a leisure developer owned by Dubai's ruler, said on Monday the bankruptcy of its partner Six Flags SIXF.OB, one of the world's largest theme park operators, will not delay a multi-billion dirham project.

New York-based Six Flags, which operates or owns 20 parks in North America, said on Saturday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it struggled with a $2.4 billion debt burden and faced a looming cash payment of $300 million.

“The chapter 11 announcement from Six Flags has no impact on our theme park plans or their openings,” Tatweer said in an e-mailed reply to Reuters questions.

“We have nothing to add and will not make any announcement regarding our development plans in the context of Six Flag’s financial restructuring.”

The Dubai firm did not make clear if Six Flags would still be involved in its project.

Tatweer, which is building at least seven theme parks in the Gulf Arab emirate, signed in May last year an agreement with Six Flags to develop a theme park in Dubai and develop other projects in the Arab region.

The first phase of the Dubai park was projected to be ready in 2011, Tatweer said last May. The park will stretch over five-million square feet, will feature 30 rides and will welcome as many as 3 million visitors a year.

Hundreds of billions of dollars of property and construction projects have been cancelled in Dubai and firms have laid off thousands of employees as the financial crisis hits the United Arab Emirate’s trade and tourism hub. (Reporting by Dania Saadi; Editing by David Holmes)