DUBAI, UAE-London-based Merlin Entertainments Group and Tatweer plan to break ground in 2009 on a three-million-sf Legoland in Dubailand. The 69-acre project will cost AED 912 million or $248.65 million.

A spokeswoman for Legoland tells that Tatweer is providing the land and funding Merlin’s first foray outside North America and Europe while Merlin’s role is that of creative development and operator of the project, slated to open in late 2011. The alliance partners are discussing development of Legoland hotels and possibly adding other entertainment-related flags from Merlin’s portfolio.

“Choosing this location for the new Legoland Park reflects the fact that Dubai is becoming a major holiday destination, not only for the region, but for visitors worldwide,” Nick Varney, Merlin’s CEO, says in yesterday’s press release. The design team has just started to work on the plan.

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