Dubai-based theme park developer IMG World of Adventures has secured AED1.2bn ($326.7m) of syndicated Islamic financing to support its further expansion and refinance existing loans.
The under-construction theme park, which was previously known as the City of Arabia project, has been in the pipeline for several years and was due to open in 2011 before it was postponed when the financial crisis hit Dubai.
Construction work has started on the development and it is expected to open by the end of 2014 or within the first quarter of 2015.
The new financing will partly be used to refinance the corporate loan raised post-crisis via Abu Dhabi-based Al-Hilal Bank and Dubais Mashreq Bank in 2012.
The new facility has been arranged by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, with Al-Hilal Bank and the local Commercial Bank International also acting as mandated lead arrangers. The local Noor Islamic Bank is a lead arranger, while Sharjah Islamic Bank joined as an arranger. The borrower is IMG Theme Park, which is wholly-owned by the owners of the Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group.
The park is themed around popular cartoon characters and superheroes, and features a Lost Valley Dinosaur park complete with animatronic dinosaurs and rides.
Once complete, the park is expected to be the largest indoor entertainment destination in the world, covering 1.5 million square feet, and will be able to handle more than 20,000 visitors a day.