Dubailand and HIT Entertainment strike strategic alliance, create world's first 'Little Big Club' attraction in Global Village
21 February 2008
London and Dubai: 21 February, 2008 – Dubailand, a member of Tatweer, today announced it has formed a strategic alliance with UK-based HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, to develop a diverse portfolio of family entertainment projects in Global Village at DUBAILAND®, the world’s biggest tourism, leisure and entertainment destination.
The highlight of the alliance will be the creation of the world’s first HIT Entertainment ‘Little Big Club’ in Dubai. The 25,000 sq ft indoor/outdoor project represents a multi-million AED investment within the permanent Global Village which is set to open its doors in the last quarter of 2008.
The venture will offer young children and their families a unique, fully immersive, secure and interactive experience. The ‘Little Big Club’ is designed around the globally popular characters Barney, Pingu, Bob the Builder and Thomas & Friends with themed rides and indoor and outdoor play-centres. The ‘Little Big Club’ will also feature party and educational function spaces and a theatre that will present mini live shows as well as screening the most popular television shows produced by HIT Entertainment as well as first run productions.
ٍMohammed Al Habbai, CEO of Dubailand, said: “The alliance with Hit Entertainment is a continuation of our strategy of bringing the world’s most prestigious names in the leisure and entertainment industries to DUBAILAND®. Hit Entertainment joins an illustrious portfolio of Tatweer-owned investments formed by BAWADI, The Tiger Woods Dubai, Universal Studios DUBAILAND® and Dreamworks Animation Park, in addition to DUBAILAND® itself and the Global Village.”
Bruce Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer, HIT Entertainment said: “We are thrilled to be launching the world’s first Hit Entertainment ‘Little Big Club’ attraction in Dubai and view it as tremendous opportunity to be working with Dubailand, a world class development company.
“Barney, Pingu, Bob the Builder and Thomas & Friends are brands that are loved by children and trusted by parents. With the launch of our new ‘Little Big Club’, children and families will be able to experience their favourite brands in a new and unique way. This project represents an important strategic direction for the company and ushers in a new era for our live events and attractions business.”
Abdul Redha Bin Redha, CEO, Global Village said: “Hit Entertainment will significantly contribute to the reputation of the Global Village brand. As one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, the addition of the HIT Entertainment ‘Little Big Club’ will add significant value to our offering, providing an enhanced experience to all Global Village guests.”
Dubailand and HIT Entertainment will also work together to develop new concepts, including live shows and a diverse mix of music and entertainment, themed restaurants and retail outlets that will be open all year round, providing unique experiences to Global Village visitors.
The HIT Entertainment ‘Little Big Club’ in the Global Village at DUBAILAND® will be brought to life by RMA Ltd, the UK-based theme park designers. RMA will design the park layout, rides and project-manage all architectural, scenic and technical aspects of the club.
RMA has extensive experience in production, design and construction of themed attractions with a portfolio that includes Cadbury’s Story, the Jorvik in York, Drusilla’s Park in East Sussex and the exciting new Thomas Land in the UK, set to open at Drayton Manor Park in March 2008.
DUBAILAND®, a three billion sq ft development, includes several other projects that are under advanced stages of implementation such as Dubai Sports City, Motor City, Falcon City, Dubai Heritage Vision, and Al Barari. The Polo and Equestrian Club and City of Arabia are currently in the initial stages of infrastructure work.
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Fifi and the Flowertots™ in North America and Japan and acts as a worldwide representative for The Jim Henson Company’s library of classic family brands and as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production (including studios in the US and the UK), publishing, consumer products licensing and live events. With a catalogue of more than 1,500 hours of young children's programming, HIT sells its shows to more than 240 countries worldwide, in more than 40 different languages and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. In 2005, the Company joined Comcast Corporation, PBS and Sesame Workshop to launch PBS KIDS SproutSM, a 24-hour digital cable channel and VOD service for preschoolers. In 2007, HIT and Chellomedia, the European content division of Liberty Global, Inc and its subsidiary ChelloZone, announced a joint venture to launch and distribute JimJam, an international pre-school TV channel (excludes the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.
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DUBAILAND®, a member of Tatweer, is the world’s biggest tourism, leisure and entertainment project, catering to the needs of the entire family. The unique 3 billion sq. ft. development has been designed to catalyze the position of Dubai as an international hub of family tourism, appealing to tourist segments across genders, age group, world regions and activity preferences. DUBAILAND® is projected to attract millions of tourists annually from around the world.
The diverse projects under DUBAILAND® include theme parks, eco-tourism projects, shopping malls, restaurants and residential units that are being developed by UAE, GCC and international investors.
A product of extraordinary vision, DUBAILAND® will be an attractive place to ‘live, work and play’ for the emirate’s growing population, both as a leisure destination and an appropriate setting for business and entertainment development.
Launched in December 2005, Tatweer is one the region’s most dynamic enterprises and a member of Dubai Holding. Comprising 10 market-leading brands, it oversees an ambitious business development plan. Its current portfolio is divided into Energy & Healthcare, Tourism & Entertainment, and Industry & Real Estate offerings. Its entities include Dubai Healthcare City, the region's hub for world-class quality healthcare services; Mizin, one of the most advanced real estate companies in the region; Universal City Dubailand, the 22 million sq ft development, featuring Universal Studios Dubailand as its centerpiece; “The Tiger Woods - Dubai”, an exclusive golf community that will include the first Tiger Woods designed golf course; Dubailand, one of the biggest leisure, entertainment and tourism destinations in the Middle East; Dubai Industrial City, an industrial township to develop Dubai as a leading manufacturing hub; Bawadi, the world’s leading hospitality and entertainment project hosting 51 luxury hotels and more than 60,000 hotel rooms; Dubai Energy, investing in regional and global energy opportunities and building a diversified investment portfolio; Dubai Mercantile Exchange, the first energy futures exchange in the Middle East set up in partnership with the New York Mercantile Exchange and Global Village, a premier family destination for culture, entertainment, cuisine and commerce.
Tatweer’s entities continue to consolidate a group of life-improving industries in addition to pioneering joint venture initiatives with leading global conglomerates. They continuously strive for world-class performance, while implementing leadership development to drive and sustain business excellence, quality and high performance.
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