Six Flags latest to announce plans for Dubai

Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 12:18 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Theme park developer Six Flags Inc. said Tuesday it will partner with Dubai-based developer Tatweer to build theme parks across the Arab world. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Six Flags said it will work with Tatweer to create a number of new concepts in the region, including Six Flags theme and water parks, branded restaurants, hotels and retail outlets.

Read more from AP via MSNBC.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 12:21 PM
What's next? Will it be Cedar Point Dubai or Holiday World Dubai?
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 12:36 PM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 12:36 PM
Dubai is really turning out to be quite the destination. I'm surprised with all of the changes Six Flags is making that they would get involved in a new park.I can't wait for more details. Let's hope they don't screw this up.
I've had relatives out in Dubai for a while...I guess I'm gonna have plenty of other reasons to head over there in the next couple of years.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 12:49 PM
Mamoosh's avatar I'm surprised with all of the changes Six Flags is making that they would get involved in a new park.

Why? It's not their money. Someone else is footing the bill. If anything the company stands to rake in a fortune with this. It's a very smart move.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:09 PM
janfrederick's avatar Yup. They get money for licensing and they get money to run it. And they could use the cash right now.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:18 PM
Actually, according to the article below they won't even run it. They are just getting paid for planning, design and licensing.

*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 3/5/2008 1:26:13 PM ***

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:24 PM
Well if that's the case, this sounds like a good deal for Six Flags, and a good deal for the park.

Here's a link to the park:

Note the pic of Tatsu...hopefully there will be some coasters in the mix. Even if there aren't, this place still looks awesome.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:01 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar Thats what it looks like for Worlds of Adventure too!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:20 PM
The Busch deal is different. Busch has a management contract to run Worlds of Discovery.

*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 3/5/2008 3:21:04 PM ***

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:26 PM
So I'm sitting here thinking is Dubai really the type of place that will attract the type of tourist who goes to theme parks? Are we talking about the super rich Robin Leach types who vacation here?

Also, I'm curious if the local Arab culture is the type to enjoy thrill rides.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:54 PM
Jeff's avatar The target audience isn't Arab culture, obviously.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 4:02 PM
janfrederick's avatar ^^^Ah, that's where I got confused. :)

And hey, why not target Arab culture too? Can't drink or smoke. Might as well ride coasters!

And I think they are trying to attract the European analog to folks in the states who go to Orlando.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 4:47 PM
Why would the target audience not include the locals? Seems to me one would want a local base to fall on should their tourism fall flat.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 5:44 PM
Don't assume "Arab" equals "Taliban." And I think the "rest of the world hates everything American" idea has been overblown. There are many middle-easterners who are progressive and as consumptive as westerners. A good portion of those hotel rooms and resort bookings are going to be people from other Arab and middle-east countries.

My other thought is that if you're looking for someone experienced in "planning and design," is Six Flags the first name that comes to mind?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 5:51 PM
RGB...exactly...which is why I guess I don't "get" what Jeff said.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 5:56 PM
Jeff's avatar Culture and religion has nothing to do with it. Dubai is home 1.4 million people. How do you expect enough business to come out of the locals to drive this tourist economy shaping up to be bigger than that of Orlando?

The target audience is clearly not the locals.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 6:06 PM
Jeff, your first post said the "target audience isn't Arab culture, obviously." That isn't the same as saying the target isn't the locals. I don't think any park (or entertainment venue) relies entirely on its locals, whether it be Orlando, Dubai, Pigeon Forge, or Sandusky. That's why it's called tourism.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 6:16 PM
I should clarify myself when I said Arab culture I meant the local people.
Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:36 AM
I try to avoid politics on the park sites but I do have to wonder. Neighbors to Dubai include: Saudia Arabia, Oman, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The are, literally, on the Persian Gulf. If I had to draw a target over the Middle East/Persian Gulf Region, Dubai would nearly be the bullseye.

So, where is all of the confidence on the part of the banking community, and these international companies investing there, that the place is secure and won't go to heck if, as most suggest, we pull out of Iraq? And, wouldn't the presence of American companies...even "fun" companies like Sea World and Six a source of ire for those who hate what we represent?

Frankly, with the oil in Saudia Arabia and the investment in Dubai I think it is not overreaching to say we are going to be in the Persian Gulf region forever, at least in some form or another.

Again, I apologize for the political slant and, I'm not really taking sides. It is just fascinating how our own little piece of joy...amusement being thrust on the international stage.


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