Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment has signed a deal with a Dubai-based firm to open a new indoor family entertainment centre in the emirate.
Zawya.com reports that a groundbreaking ceremony has already taken place, with construction work on the attraction due to be completed by late 2013. Named Marvel Adventure, it will form part of a larger entertainment area known as the City of Arabia and will be owned and operated by the IMG Group.
While it has been widely described as a "theme park", it is not yet clear exactly how much emphasis will be placed on rides at Marvel Adventure, if any. The initial reports describe the 350,000 square feet attraction as containing retail outlets, restaurants and "interactive entertainment experiences".
Marvel characters have yet to be fully exploited in Disney's own theme parks, although rival Universal maintains a license (which pre-dates the Disney's 2010 takeover of the comic book company) that enables it use them in the Marvel Super Hero Island area at Islands of Adventure in Florida. The characters will feature in the interactive attractions at Marvel Adventure, although it is not yet known in what capacity.
Describing the deal with the IMG Group, Marvel Entertainment International's President Simon Philips said: "Following the outstanding global and local box office success of Marvel's The Avengers, and the strong affinity for Marvelin the UAE, we are thrilled to be working with the IMG Group to bring some of Marvel's most popular characters to kids and families across Dubai. Whether it's having fun at one of the entertainment experiences, hanging out with friends and enjoying a meal or collecting the latest Marvel gadgets and action figures, there is truly something for everyone at Marvel Adventure."