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NEW YORK CITY-Locally based Marvel Entertainment Inc. has teamed with Al Ahli Group to create a Super Hero theme park in Dubai. The project will be the first theme park in the region.

The $1-billion Dubai theme park is being constructed by United Arab Emirates-based AAG and will be the only global theme park in the central area of the Emirates. The park is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2011.

“We are launching a long-term relationship with the Al Ahli Group to bring the Marvel Universe to Dubai with this exciting new theme park development,” says David Maisel, chairman of Marvel Studios and a member of the Office of the Chief Executive of Marvel Entertainment, in a statement. “Al Ahli Group has both an impressive team of theme park, entertainment and hospitality executives and the financial strength to leverage that expertise into a world-class destination resort experience unparalleled in the region.”

To bring together Marvel’s Super Heroes, which include Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four, a creative team, located in Hollywood, Orlando and Dubai will coordinate throughout the next four years to come up with new technology to make the park an “unparalleled visitor experience.”

“Al Ali Group’s partnership with Marvel Entertainment serves a long pursued quest of creating the ultimate entertainment destination for families and children of the region and the world. Family destinations have not evolved in Pan Arabia and thus it’s time that we cater to that demand and make the investment required for global tourism,” says CEO Mohamed Khammas of AAG. “Marvel is a brand that is recognized globally via its ever expanding list of ‘Super Hero’ characters. Now, it won’t be much longer until the children in Pan Arabia and the world can experience new and exciting rides right here in the UAE.”

The Dubai park may not be the only time Marvel and AAG team up. The companies said they are pursuing the possibility of creating other projects in the Greater Pan Arabia area.

The 39-year old AAG has a hand in several businesses in Dubai, including the Dubai Outlet City Project. Phase one of the 10-million-sf mixed-use development is slated to open this May. When complete it will be the areas first factory-outlet mall, and will also include boutique hotels, office towers and entertainment components.

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