Theme parks have been the subject of renewed attention in recent years, especially as overseas markets continue to develop. More are announced every month, with major property holders such as Lionsgate and video game developer Ubisoft eager to build their own parks. From virtual theme parks to parks anchored by Hunger Games-inspired attractions, those with the means to travel will be spoiled with new options in the coming years.
Among the movie studios branching into amusement parks is Twentieth Century Fox. The studio is already on schedule to open a new theme park in Malaysia in 2017, featuring over 25 rides based on their properties. However, that was only the first of several expected parks and before it officially opens, the studio is already working on their next project.
Fox announced a new licensing partnership with Al Ahli Holding Group that will result not only in a theme park in Dubai, but an entire resort based around their properties. The park and resort will be called 20th Century Fox World, Dubai and is scheduled to be opened sometime in 2018. The deal also granted Al Ahli the right to open up to three more parks in territories outside of Dubai.
The park and resort will feature a number of rides, attractions and retail stores based entirely on popular Fox properties, including Aliens, Predator, Planet of the Apes, Night at the Museum, Titanic and more. Attractions will vary between dark, media-based rides and conventional thrill rides, with each aiming to tell a new story based on the existing franchises. The resort will also include dining options based on the properties, though specifics have yet to be revealed.
Greg Lombardo, Senior VP of Global Live and Location-Based Entertainment for Twentieth Century Fox, said the following:
"We are thrilled to partner with Al Ahli Holding Group on this exciting project. 20th Century Fox World, Dubai will provide an ongoing platform for immersive brand engagement with our consumers from around the world, including key international markets of Europe, Russia and China."
In the face of rising film production costs and the continued evolution of the television industry, theme parks and licensing have provided a stable source of income for these big studios. While the existing theme parks in America are seeing a resurgence in funding from their parent companies, the big push for new theme parks has largely occurred in China and Malaysia. Both NBCUniversal and Disney have invested billions to open new parks overseas and the market will continue to grow more competitive as new projects are announced.
Fox offers a diverse set of properties for the theme park developers to play with, allowing for some potentially surprising attractions when the park finally opens. It might be hard to translate an iconic film like Titanic into a ride, but the successful adaptation might be enough to set the Fox park apart from the growing competition.
Twentieth Century Fox World, Dubai is expected to open in 2018.