Dubai Parks and Resorts confirms 2016 opening

24 May 2015

Works 17 per cent complete by value

The local Dubai Parks & Resorts (DPR)’s AED10.45bn ($2.85bn) theme park project is on schedule and will be ready for opening in October 2016.

Works at the 2.5 square-kilometre Jebel Ali site and on rides manufactured globally are 17 per cent complete by value.

Contractors have a delivery date in summer 2016 to ensure the park will open on time.

“It’s a huge site and it’s all going up at the same time,” says Paul LaFrance, chief projects officer at DPR. “We have around 7,800 workers on site and work here has really ramped up since January.”

About 75 per cent of work on the theme park by value will be done in the UAE, with the remaining 25 per cent internationally.

Many of the rides are being manufactured in Europe, a process which takes around two years, and is currently around 40 per cent complete. Out of 73, five have been delivered and four are ready to ship. Suppliers include Germany’s Mack Rides, Zierer Rides and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, Canada’s Dynamic Attractions, WhiteWater Attractions and Triotech, the Netherland’s ETF Ride Systems, Italy’s Zamperla, the UK’s Holovis and Simworx, Japan’s Sansei Technologies and France’s Concept 1900.

“We are very happy about the strong dollar,” says LaFrance. “We are saving a lot of money on the rides.”

The UK’s Kier Group has completed all infrastructure work at the site, while utilities packages are nearing completion. The substation is set to come online by July 2015, followed by the district cooling in September, to allow for ride testing.

Kier is also the contractor for the central Riverpark section, which will have 120,000 square metres of leasable space.

Work on the 32 hectare Legoland Park is now 90 per cent complete for utilities and 35 per cent complete for structures. The main contractors are the local Belgian Belhasa Six Construct and Egypt Orascom Construction Industries.

Bids for the AED120m waterpark component are under evaluation. It includes 20 attractions.

For the 200,000 square metre Motiongate Park, the UK’s Laing O’Rourke are the main contractors, while Brookfield Multiplex has done structural works.

The Bollywood Park is 60 per cent complete, with work on the largest structures such as an 850-seat theatre progressing well.

The contractors, all local, are Al-Nasr, Ascon, Arco and Bin Shafar Contracting.

Marriott will operate the Lapita Hotel, which will have 500 rooms. Brookfield Multiplex won a $118m contract to build the hotel in April.

Nine subcontractors have been prequalified for facade and finishing works, which make up about 7 per cent of the overall contract values. These include South African Amusement Whitewater, which is already working on the project.

For the access road bridge from Sheikh Zayed Road, the Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is evaluating bids for the AED200m project. An award is expected in the next few weeks.

DPR is 60 per cent owned by local developer Meraas and 40 per cent publically owned by retail and institutional investors, after DPR was listed on Dubai Financial Market in November 2014.

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