Miral / Warner Bros. World

Currently under construction, the indoor theme park is slated to open on Yas Island in 2018.

Michelle Gross

Move over Orlando and step aside Anaheim. There’s another entertainment capital in town—or there will in 2018 anyway. In a press conference this week, Abu Dhabi based developer Miral Asset Management in partnership with American entertainment conglomerate Warner Bros. announced that plans are currently underway to build a Warner Bros theme park and hotel on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

“World Abu Dhabi theme park is estimated at $1 billion and is a milestone in the emirate’s journey to put Abu Dhabi on the global map as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations,” Miral Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak said in a statement. The park is slated to include a theme park with 19 rides, a branded Warner Bros themed-hotel and multiplex cinemas.

Tuesday’s announcement follows in the footsteps of two other major theme parks slated to open in UAE later this year including the IMG World Of Adventure and Dubai Parks And Resorts which will house a LEGOLAND and Hollywood-inspired theme park concept under Motiongate Dubai—a collaboration between Lionsgate, Dreamworks, Sony Pictures, and Bollywood Land.

“Theme parks and entertainment destinations are integral to the desire to attract more families to Dubai as part of the Tourism Vision 2020 to double Dubai’s annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020,” Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts wrote in an email to Travel + Leisure. Already a major tourist destination, Warner Bros theme park is part of the UAE’s push to firmly establish a foothold for itself as a global entertainment destination. The project, which is estimated to create more than 1,000 new jobs in Abu Dhabi, is also projected to increase tourist numbers in Yas Island from 25 million in 2015 to 30 million in 2018.

Michelle Gross is an Editorial Producer and Contributing Writer at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @mtothegnyc

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