The world's biggest collection of cartoon character and thrill ride theme parks is to be built in the desert in Dubai.
Legoland yesterday became the latest to sign up for Dubailand, a vast playground of theme parks and attractions on a tract of desert which, when completed, will be bigger than Singapore.
A total of 26 projects will make up the $60bn project, with separate theme parks also planned for Marvel Super Heroes (Spiderman, Incredible Hulk), Dreamworks (Shrek) and Universal Studios.
Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder will also have their own parks, with US-based thrill ride park Six Flags also opening outside America for the first time. The colossal project will be twice the size of Disney World in Florida, currently the world's biggest theme park.
Work has already started on Dubailand, with an Ernie Els-designed golf course and three polo fields completed. A new cricket stadium opens in August, then works starts in earnest on the world's first uber theme park.
"From December 2010, we will be opening a theme park every six months," said marketing director Ahmed Tag Eldeen at a conference in Dubai yesterday.
The scale of the project is staggering, with only Las Vegas capable of building on such a scale. Jurassic and Formula 1 theme parks are also planned, as is a wheel bigger than the London Eye and a lifesize replica of the Eiffel Tower.
A huge sports stadium and Tiger Woods golf club are also planed – but you only get to play if you buy a villa (from $2m). All will be marketed as Dubailand, with a new rail link being built from Dubai's centre.
Dubai even promises some culture, with the opening of the Islamic Culture and Science building.
The project is the culmination of increased efforts to double tourism to Dubai. Last year, more than 7.7m tourists visited, but Dubai expects 15m to visit by 2015. More than 20,000 hotel rooms will be built on site, along with thousands of shops and restaurants.
The Emirate also wants to boost the amount of time visitors spend in Dubai – currently only 2.8 days. Tourism now accounts for 19 per cent of Dubai's revenue, a figure expected to increase to 35 per cent by 2020.
Only Disney is excluded in the whole big project but according to Dubai, they are open if Disney wanted to join in the party.