Goldman Sachs leads financing effort for $1.15 billion theme park effort in Dubai

Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014 10:16 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. arranged a 4.2 billion-dirham ($1.15 billion) loan for Dubai Parks & Resorts to fund the development of a theme park in the emirate. Dubai Parks & Resorts, set up by government-owned developer Meraas Holding, is building a 10.5 billion-dirham theme park as part of the emirate’s plan to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020. The Dubai Parks & Resorts project will include the Middle East’s first Legoland theme park, and two other parks based on Bollywood and Hollywood films.

Read more from Bloomberg.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 10:18 AM

I have to wonder, how do you reach that number of people without the American audience? Not only would you need to offer something that you can't get in the US, but you'd also have to overcome the general xenophobia issue that we have.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:37 AM

Only one thing explains why Dubai is developing so much:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:42 AM

That doesn't even make sense. If anything, the smart thing is to develop for the day when it runs out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:46 AM

Dubai is well developed due to it's abundance of oil. But when the supply runs out, then they are kind of screwed unless they begin to focus on a new industry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:57 AM

Which is exactly what they are doing now. I'm thinking they are following the Las Vegas model. Build a city in East bumble****, provide pretty buildings, entertainment, booze and exclusivity, and everyone will want to go there.

Last edited by delan, Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:09 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:04 PM

The whole point, which is well documented, as to why Dubai and the Emmerates are trying to become a resort destination, is because they're planning for when Oil runs out.

They don't have to cater to Americans. Rich people go there anywho because it's en vogue, and then it's not that hard for Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia to get to the Emmerates.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:12 PM

Plus if they can get the China audience, North America is not as relevant. Their traveling population has increased by leaps and their GDP just passed ours so they're doing alright!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:20 PM

It's worth calling out the fact that the UAE is _very_ well connected to most countries in Europe. There are four flights a day from Dublin, two to Abu Dhabi and two to Dubai – located roughly ninety minutes apart by road – and the planes serving it are 777-class aircraft - I'm guessing >1000 seats a day from a country with a population of around four million.

Most passengers are connecting onwards, but an increasing number stop over for a few days. I'm guessing that's the market that's being chased.

Last edited by Richard Bannister, Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:21 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 2:22 PM

I had no doubt that they were targeting the European market, sure, but the press is making a lot of comparisons to Orlando, that it could in theory siphon off some of that traffic. I'm not sold for a few reasons, not the least of which is that Disney isn't building there. They're spending their money in Asia. Dubai as a huge tourist opportunity, even for Europe, seems like a dream. It's had a dozen false starts already, and isn't Ferrari World down the road in Abu Dhabi a ghost town most of the time? I'm seriously asking, since you'd know better than most of us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 3:39 PM

I've been to Ferrari World twice and it hasn't been busy either time.

That being said, I was there at off peak times. So I don't really know.

I'm not inclined to write them off before they start, though.


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