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Overambitious? Abu Dhabi’s not so amusing amusement park plan.
Is building a Dh3.3 billion theme park on Yas Island a feasible idea especially after Ferrari World cut a 100 jobs?
December 13, 2011 3:25 by Eva Fernandes
Build it and they will come, might have been an acceptable attitude to have pre-recession—but it is hardly one recommended in these debt-laden times. Despite the fact that Ferrari World let go of 100 employees last week, it turns out Yas Island has another amusement park scheduled to be constructed soon.
According to Peter Jan Mulder, CEO of Adventure World, the 80 hectare Adventure World Abu Dhabi amusement park will cost about $900 million (Dh3.3 billion). “The construction of Adventure World Abu Dhabi will commence in May 2012 and is expected to be completed in spring 2014. It will consist of the theme park, two hotels, an aqua park and the entertainment area with restaurants” Mulder told Gulf News.
Now of course, Adventure World says it expects to attract at least three million visitors every year, but we can’t for the life of us, ignore the fact that Ferari World cut 100 jobs merely a year after opening its massive air-conditioned doors to the public. Now the cuts, the company said, were merely due to a schedule change-but it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that perhaps this schedule change has been due to the less than expected traffic to the amusement centre.
Just two days ago we wrote of Abu Dhabi’s necessary two steps backwards, in which we argued that the Masdar job cuts and the rescheduling of the museum projects in the capital is partly because Abu Dhabi “is undergoing a kind of checks and balance as it reviews its projects and aligns them with the current market conditions.” Of course, job cuts are the short term wound that may indeed seem beneficial if it helps cut the fat.
Yet, announcing a Dh3.3 billion theme park on Yas Island while your potential competitor is cutting jobs—erm we have only two things to say:
1) Tatweer and Universal Studios Dh8 billion Universal Studios DubaiLand plans
2) Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group Dh 7.2 City of Arabia at Dubailand
We don’t really need to go into the murky details of what those super ambitious projects ended up as; for as any drive into Motor City will reveal, the lone Universal Studios board in the middle of nowhere stands as an excellent testament to what may very well be the future of Adventure World Abu Dhabi.