March 22, 2007 / 3:11 PM / 13 years ago

Marvel theme park to open in Dubai by 2011

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bam. Zap. Splat. Kpow!

Fans of comic book superheroes Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men will be able to see their favorite characters when a new theme park opens in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates by 2011.

The $1 billion park, the first of its kind in the region, is being developed by U.S.-based Marvel Entertainment Inc, which licenses the comic book heroes, and UAE-based construction and real estate company Al Ahli Group.

Marvel currently owns a superhero island and rides at Universal Studios’ parks in Florida, California and Japan, but the Dubai park will be the company’s first full theme park and the largest outside the United States.

“Marvel is a brand that is recognized globally via its ever expanding list of superhero characters,” said Mohamed Khammas, head of the Al Ahli Group, in a statement.

“Now, it won’t be much longer until the children in Pan Arabia and the world can experience new and exciting rides with Marvel’s Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and many other superheroes right here in the UAE.”

The companies said the park will set a new standard for theme parks worldwide and will include new technology and unparalleled visitor experiences.

A Marvel spokesperson said in a statement that the company is interested in the region because Dubai represents one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

AAG and Marvel have been collaborating for two years on the project. The creative team behind the park will be based in Hollywood, Orlando and Dubai throughout the four-year development process.

Marvel is a character-based entertainment company that uses its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. The Al Ahli Group is a cement, construction, engineering and mixed-use real estate company.

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