Ento Capital, a Dubai International Financial Centre-based investment company, has announced that construction on the mixed-use Wonderland project in Dubai is expected to start in Q1 of 2017.
In a statement, the financial firm said that reconstruction costs on the long-gestating project will be between $440 million and $490 million. Located on Al Riyadh Street, near Dubai Creek, the 2.4 million square foot Wonderland development will be executed in phases over three years.
The project involves the redevelopment of the existing Wonderland theme park, which opened in 1996 but has been closed for several years.
Once complete, the project will comprise of residential apartments, retail and food outlets, amusement parks and a cultural centre. Ento Capital added that it was in the midst of obtaining preliminary approvals from Dubai Municipality and other relevant authorities.
“The project will be one of the most attractive entertainment destinations in the region, attracting visitors from all over the world and enhancing the status of the emirate on the world’s map of leading entertainment centres. The location of the project is a prime factor in appealing to visitors with a wide array of amusement options”, said Hayssam El Masri, CEO of Ento Capital, who was quoted in a CPI Financial report.
He added that the company will be entering into a number of strategic partnerships with world-class real estate firms and brands.
The project’s master planning and concept design was finished in 2013, by FORREC, the Toronto-based entertainment design firm.
In August 2008, Emirates 24/7 reported that Wonderland would be redeveloped into a smaller-scale version of the Disneyland and Universal Studios theme parks, for an estimated cost of $167.55 million.
El Masri said that Dubai would continue to provide opportunities for investors from all over the world due to its transparent legislative environment, facilities and incentives in all sectors. He anticipated more foreign investment coming into the emirate over the coming years, particularly from companies looking to explore new markets.
“It is marvellous addition to the entertainment facilities in the UAE and a brilliant destination representing a unique and lively entertainment choice. It has many options for visitors, making it the ideal place for all family members for entertainment and dining… In all our investments, we create an environment that combines the elements of active and entertainment for a happy life,” he said.