Theme park and more planned for emirate
Warner Bros Entertainment has signed a long-term strategic alliance with the Abu Dhabi Media Company and leading local real estate developer ALDAR. The deal means the trio will advance with plans for a theme park, hotel, jointly-owned multiplex cinemas and a co-finance agreement covering feature film and video game production.
“We are so impressed by ALDAR’s mission and philosophy,” says Warner Bros chairman and CEO, Barry Meyer. “It is a first-rate company, led by first-rate executives. We look forward to working alongside ALDAR and the Abu Dhabi Media Company to not only create an exciting and unique cultural destination in Abu Dhabi, but to have the opportunity to extend the Warner Bros. businesses and brand throughout the region.”
ALDAR chairman Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, announced: “This strategic announcement demonstrates the depth of our commitment to building Abu Dhabi in a holistic way – bringing the best in entertainment to the communities we are creating.” As part of the deal, Warner and the Abu Dhabi Media Company will also help build the infrastructure for Abu Dhabi’s new media and digital delivery systems.
“I think it is crucial that Abu Dhabi has a position on the world stage, and that means mastering every field,” believes Abu Dhabi Media Company chairman Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei. “Entertainment is a massive part of Abu Dhabi and its future, and through this agreement with Warner Bros all parties have underlined how iconic the emirate will be in this field.”
For the hotel and theme park project, Warner Bros will rely on its vast experience in character and brand marketing and licensing, drawing on select properties from its live-action and animated libraries to provide themes for the overall project as well as individual attractions.
The company has already owned or developed parks in Madrid, Spain; Bottrop, Germany; and on the Gold Coast in Australia, as well as its previous ownership of and ongoing licensing agreement with Six Flags theme parks in the United States. ALDAR will co-ordinate and oversee physical construction of park and hotel in Abu Dhabi, groundbreaking on which is expected in 2009.
Beyond the businesses specifically outlined in Warner Bros’ initial agreement with ALDAR and Abu Dhabi Media Company, the companies will discuss and explore additional areas in which they can work together, including such ventures as production facilities, digital content distribution