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Ecclestone: Planned F1-X Formula One theme park in Dubai "not happening"

Dubailand construction image

Construction on the planned F1-X Formula One theme park in Dubai looks unlikely to resume, after F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said the project was "not happening".

Work on the park, which was due to be part of the Dubailand complex, has been on hold for over a year. Earlier this year, the company behind it - Union Properties - claimed that it was still in talks to secure the estimated $460 million in funding needed to complete construction of F1-X. However, Ecclestone's quote to the Evening Standard would appear to suggest that the project may be postponed for the long-term or even completely cancelled.

The news is the latest blow to the struggling Dubailand project, which was originally envisioned as the largest cluster of theme parks in the world. At 107 square miles, it is planned to be more than twice the size of Walt Disney World and to contain high-profile parks including Universal Studios Dubailand, Warner Bros. Movie World, Legoland Dubai, Six Flags Dubailand and Dreamworks Studios Theme Park alongside a vast number of other attractions. The F1-X theme park was due to be part of the MotorCity section of Dubailand, which also includes the Dubai Autodrome Formula One race circuit (opened in 2004).

However, despite plans to open several of Dubailand's proposed theme parks in the period between 2010 and 2012, it currently looks possible that none of the proposed parks will open in that timescale - if at all. F1-X was at the most advanced stage of development prior to the property crash which struck Dubai in 2009, and many of the other parks are still only at the concept stage. The main draw - Universal Studios Dubailand - is still officially scheduled to open in 2012 but no construction work has begun.

The F1-X park is not to be confused with the similarly-themed Ferrari World, which will open in Dubai's neighboring emirate Abu Dhabi on October 28, 2010. The indoor theme park will feature 20 attractions when it opens, including Formula Rossa - the world's fastest rollercoaster.

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