Thursday, April 10, 2014

Deja Vu: Six Flags Park Announced for Dubai... Again

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has announced a new "strategic partnership" that will lead to the creation of a Six Flags branded theme park in Dubai.  Planned to open in late 2017, the park will be located within the "multi-themed park project in Jebel Ali."  The partnership is with Meraas Leisure and Entertainment, LLC, a real estate development company that creates integrated master-planned communities.

If you're thinking "wait, this sounds familiar," will that's because back in 2008 Six Flags announced a similar partnership with Tatweer - a since dissolved development company using Dubai's checkbook for projects - though that park never made it off the sand - err - ground.

The plan back then was mostly to license the name of the park, not to pay for and operate it, and it sounds like this agreement is similar.

"The cornerstone of our international expansion strategy has always been finding the right partner in the right location and, with Meraas in Dubai, we have done exactly that," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment. "We are honored to be working with this world-class organization as the first significant strategic step taking the Six Flags brand to growing and successful markets outside North America."

The original park was being designed by the Goddard Group before it stalled - plans for it were recently detailed by them and it would have been quite a place.  Will the second go around have more luck than the first?  Stay tuned.