Warner Bros. and an Abu Dhabi firm are teaming to build a $1 billion theme park in the emirate with a 2018 opening planned.
Warner Bros. and Miral Asset Management made the announcement Tuesday. The “immersive” theme park will include the first Warner Bros.-branded hotel and rides based on the studio’s characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Scooby-Doo and Bugs Bunny.
The theme park will be on Yas Island, which already includes a Formula 1 racetrack, a Ferrari-branded theme park and a water park. The first phase of the project will be dubbed Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.
“Warner Bros. has been entertaining audiences for more than 90 years with the world’s most-loved characters and franchises,” said Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Working with our partners at Miral, we’ll bring this expertise to Yas Island, one of the world’s leading entertainment destinations, to create a fully-interactive, innovative and unique experience that will allow fans of all ages to experience the most exciting aspects of Warner Bros. in a completely immersive environment.”
Construction is underway and rides are in production. The park will feature the iconic Gotham City — home to Batman — and Superman’s home of Metropolis, along with the cartoon worlds of Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera.
The companies said that Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will help Yas Island take its annual visitor tally from 25 million in 2015, to 30 million in 2018.
Miral Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak called Miral’s investment a milestone in the emirate’s journey to put Abu Dhabi on the global map and become one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.
“By meeting the global, regional and local demand for a world-class entertainment destination, supported by an equally world-class travel and tourism infrastructure, we are fulfilling our ambition to drive visitor numbers and enrich the UAE’s appeal as a truly international destination that appeals to both residents and travelling guests,” Al Mubarak said.
Mohamed Abdullah Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said: “Yas Island will continue looking to expand on its offerings for its visitors through strategic partnerships with world leading organizations. The Warner Bros.-themed destination will be a major step in maintaining Yas Island’s momentum and is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs for the Emirate.”
Warner Bros. already has theme parks in Australia and Spain plus Harry Potter attractions at Universal theme parks in Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla., along with a studio tour at its headquarters in Burbank.