Dubai set to go Orlando-tastic!

IMG Worlds Of Adventure MARVEL Zone ZB resized

It’s hoped the park will help Dubai achieve its aim of rivalling Orlando, Florida

For a while now, I’ve been aware of some goings-on down the road: the construction of a massive building with mosaic walls; an escaped dinosaur on the loose; signs that the race to open a whole raft of theme parks in the emirate is about to be won.

And we all know Dubai doesn’t do things by half.

This August will see the opening of Dubai’s $1bn IMG Worlds of Adventure, followed by – two months later – an even bigger offering in the form of three linked theme parks (the Hollywood-inspired theme park Motiongate, Dubai Bollywood Parks and Legoland).

Move over Ferrari World (and Global Village!).

It’s all part of the Dubai government’s aim to increase tourist numbers to 20 million visitors a year by the end of the decade, up from 13.2 million in 2015. At a press conference today, featuring life-size comic characters, IMG said it expected to attract 4.5 million people in the first year of opening alone.

So what can we expect? Here’s a sneak peak at just a few of the attractions at IMG, which, when it opens on 15 August, will be the largest indoor theme park in the world – roughly the size of 28 football fields.


Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 22.03.43

Marvel and Cartoon Network-themed rides are the main pull

Avengers Battle of Ultron: Join Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America and the Hulk as they take to the skies in the Quinjet to battle the evil villain Ultron.

Hulk Epsilon Base 3D: Hold the motion sickness. Enjoy being virtually propelled through a battle scene in which Hulk takes on his deadliest foe, The Leader.

Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge: Save New York from the sinister Doctor Octopus on this 400-metre spinning coaster.

Thor Thunder Spin: Free skin-firming on this one. You’ll be pinned to your seat on this dizzying top-spin experience as Thor attempts to rescue adventurous riders from the clutches of Loki, God of Mischief.


Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 22.32.11

Hand-carved dinosaurs: Take a spin with the friendlier inhabitants of the Lost Valley

• The Velociraptor: Hit 100 kilometres an hour in 2.5 seconds on this thrilling 1.1 km rollercoaster, taking riders from the deep dark prehistoric jungles of the Lost Valley out into the Dubai desert and back.

• Forbidden Territory: Go on safari and spot 70 prehistoric, life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.

• Predator: Calling all adrenaline junkies. The sharpest drop track in the region, with a heart-stopping ‘beyond-vertical’ plummet to Earth.

Dino Carousel: The first dinosaur-themed carousel in the world.


The Powerpuff Girls – Mojo Jojo’s Robot Rampage: Save the world before bedtime.

Adventure Time – The Ride of OOO with Finn & Jake: Soar across the sky with Finn and Jake through retail and themed F&B outlets in the magical land of Ooo.

The Amazing Ride of Gumball: Visit the town of Elmore where Gumball and Darwin’s school science project has gone out of control.

There’s loads more – an adventure fortress, LazyTown Playground and live stage show, street entertainers – too many things to list here. Tickets go on sale online tomorrow at, costing AED 300 for adults and AED 250 for children.

IMG Worlds Of Adventure Exterior Full park image

Open all year: The park is set inside a temperature-controlled environment

About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
This entry was posted in Dubai, Parenting, raising boys in Dubai, raising children in Dubai and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dubai set to go Orlando-tastic!

  1. magsah says:

    Hello Marianne,

    Love your blogs… Out of curosity was wondering if you went for Bocelli at the Yas couple of days ago. Whilst I was there I thought about you that if Mariannes here, her blog wd be up before I even reach back hoem (dxb).

    Andrea Bocelli, as always… was awesome! And so was the choir and orchestra! It was such a heart melting moment when all the Sheikhs sat in the front rows, stood up at certain songs to applaud. The moon was full, with a couple of twinkling stars shining bright above us.. Couldn’t have had been more romantic…

    Then, everytime to bring us back to reality… we had the flipping revving engines of the luxury cars outside on the road or at the Yas circuit which I felt was great disrespect to the world’s top tenor trying his voice thru the engines! Boy o boy, I almost picked up my phone to inform and req the AD police services!!

    And then not to forget.. the delivery boy wandering thru the rows of seats, providing food and drinks and forgetting or choosing to forget our pre paid drinks!

    The signage was a bit confusing with not many to guide. Had to walk over wet grass on the way to and fro to the seating area.


    Plse feel free to share my rant x

    Love, Maggie x

    On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 11:23 PM, “CIRCLES IN THE SAND … Marianne Makdisi” wrote:

    > Circles in the Sand posted: ” For a while now, I’ve been aware of some > goings-on down the road: the construction of a massive building with mosaic > walls; an escaped dinosaur on the loose; signs that the race to open a > whole raft of theme parks in the emirate is about to be won. And” >

    • Hi Maggie! I wish I could have been there! Sounds amazing, apart from the revving engines and forgetful food and drinks boy! I’ve only made it over to Yas for one concert – Robbie! Thanks for your message! x

  2. Expatorama says:

    My son is Lego obsessed. He has been telling me for ages that he would like to go to Dubai in October …for the grand opening of Legoland. It’s all down to his freebie Lego magazine from the toy shop and the fact that he can now read. Thrilled that he can read, but we live in South Africa, so it’s kind of a tall order!

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