Dubailand is an entertainment complex being built in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which is owned by Tatweer (which belongs to Dubai Holding). When announced in 2003 it was one of the most ambitious leisure developments ever proposed anywhere in the world costing $64.3 billion, but development has been severely impacted by global recession and Dubai's financial crisis. The development was put on hold in 2008 but resumed in mid-2013. Updates in 2013 show that $55 billion has been raised towards the works. Current estimates predict that Dubailand will open before 2020.
The Dubailand project was officially announced on October 23, 2003. Dubailand will have an area of 278 km2 (107 sq mi) and include 45 "mega projects" and 200 sub projects. To date, there are currently 22 projects under construction. Dubailand is divided into six zones (worlds): Attractions and Experience World, Sports and Outdoor World, Eco-Tourism World, Themed Leisure and Vacation World, Retail and Entertainment World, and Downtown. It will be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort, and will be the largest collection of theme parks in the world; however, no theme park in Dubailand will surpass Disney's Animal Kingdom (located at Walt Disney World Resort) as the world's largest theme park.
The Sahara Kingdom theme park, situated in the Attractions & Experience World, will cover 460,000 m2 (4,951,399 sq ft) and will combine high end virtual and physical theme park rides, attractions such as a state of the art gaming zone, IMAX theater, and integrated live and virtual entertainment shows, together with a retail zone, four hotels and residential accommodations. The theme of the development is traditional Arabian folklore and the tales of One Thousand and One Nights.
In 2006, planning permission was granted for the Great Dubai Wheel, a 185-metre tall (607 ft) giant Ferris wheel with 30 passenger capsules, to be built and managed by the Great Wheel Corporation. It was expected to open in 2009, at a cost of over AED 250 million. In January 2012 it was announced that the Great Dubai Wheel would not be built.
In 2008, most of the developments in Dubailand were put on hold and virtually all of the staff and workforce were fired due to 2007–2010 Financial crisis.
On January 19, 2008, DreamWorks announced plans to build a DreamWorks park in Dubailand.
On March 4, 2008, Tatweer announced a strategic alliance with Six Flags to build the 5,000,000 sq ft (460,000 m2) Six Flags Dubailand theme park.
On May 1, 2008, Tatweer announced the launch of Freej Dubailand. Freej Dubailand will boast hotels totalling 2,600 keys, and feature retail, food and beverage outlets, as well as a spectrum of entertainment attractions.
On May 2, 2008, it was announced that the design and conceptual master plan for a Marvel Superheroes theme park had been finalized, the first of its kind. It will include 17 rides and attractions on a 4,500,000 sq ft (420,000 m2) development. It will also comprise nine retail outlets on an area of 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2). Over 40 food and beverage outlets, including carts merchandising light refreshments, will be developed over 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2).
On May 6, 2008, Tatweer announced a strategic alliance with Merlin Entertainments Group to build a Legoland park in Dubailand. The project will cost Dh912 million, occupy a total of 3,000,000 sq ft (278,709 m2), and will feature more than 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions geared towards families with children ages 2 to 12.
At this point, Dubai Properties Group took over Dubailand from Tatweer. United States companies, Six Flags and DreamWorks dropped out of their projects, losing interest in the site.
In September 2012, Dubai Properties Group announced the revival of the Mudon residential community project, estimating the completion of the project at around 18 months.
Construction on the site resumed in early 2013, with the 72,000 square-meter Dubai Miracle Gardens opening at the beginning of March.