Bringing the Silver Screen to Life at MOTIONGATE Dubai

MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, a Hollywood-inspired theme park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates officially opened to the public on December 16th and at the end of January hosted an IAAPA forum which gave a lucky few from our industry the inside view of this amazing venue. Simultaneously developing and opening three distinct parks, including MOTIONGATE™ Dubai in one conjoined location has been a remarkable feat. This incredible theme park forms part of an integrated theme park destination called Dubai Parks and Resorts, which also features Bollywood Parks Dubai & Legoland Dubai Theme Park and Water Park.

MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, represents one of the biggest theme park developments in the world and is by far the largest in the Middle East, and WhiteWater has been proud to have been involved since the beginning stages of the development. Mike Rigby, WhiteWater’s Middle East region Vice President remembers the first time he visited the site and it was just a desert with a lonely porta cabin back in 2013. What has followed is four years of close collaboration with MOTIONGATE™ Dubai management, the park designers, and site teams to create some of the most intellectual property based themed attractions in WhiteWater’s history.

MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, which has brought together Hollywood studio heavyweights, DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures including the Smurfs and Lionsgate, has led the trend of creating an environment full of familiar intellectual property as guests can immerse themselves in five movie-based zones. WhiteWater has provided immersive attractions in three of them. “I’m constantly amazed by the talents of our theming team, I really believe this is their best work yet,” said Mike as he describes how WhiteWater designers and sculptors have created unique aqua experiences with a final surprise due to be unveiled in the DreamWorks Zone, inspired by How To Train Your Dragon.

The film themes have also come alive in attractions like Woodland Play Park, an outdoor Smurfs-themed play area featuring an Adventure Trail, with towering mushroom-capped houses. As with all Adventure Trails it uses vertical space allowing kids to climb and play freely yet safely 32 feet (10m) above the ground–leaving the useful ground level room where parents can relax and watch while enjoying refreshments from the conveniently situated adjacent Smurfs-themed café; a clever way to boost food and beverage spend.

Just opened within the Colombia Pictures zone is WhiteWater’s first river raft ride in the United Arab Emirates, called River Expedition, inspired by Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Guests on 8-seat inflatable rafts set off to explore Swallow Falls where incredible new food/animal hybrid species lurk in lush jungle landscaping complete with waterfalls and features.

“It has been an incredible project to support from the earliest design stages through to opening and beyond” says Mike Rigby – “it is a showcase for WhiteWater in the region and demonstrates how flexible our Attractions portfolio is to create these immersive experiences”.

“MOTIONGATE™ Dubai has positioned itself not just as the Middle East’s largest theme park, but also as one of the most immersive and dynamic theme parks in the world,” said Daniel Cuffe, Director of Park Operations for MOTIONGATE™ Dubai. “Working with WhiteWater, an industry leader, has brought some of our most treasured movies to life – from the Smurfs, to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and soon, How To Train Your Dragon, into wonderful themed experiences for the entire family.”



MOTIONGATE™ Dubai is the Middle East’s largest Hollywood-inspired theme park, inviting guests of all ages to step into the magical, mythical worlds of some of cinema’s most beloved movies. Uniting three legendary film studios in one theme park – Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Animation and Lionsgate – visitors will go beyond the screen and immerse themselves in the magic of Hollywood, ensuring fun for the whole family year round and creating memories to last a lifetime.

Spread across five zones, guests of all ages will be entertained by 27 key rides and attractions including roller coasters, multi-media dark rides, interactive play labs, media-based theatre shows, plus a full program of roaming entertainment and live dance performances. Inspired by 13 of Hollywood’s most beloved live action and animated films, visitors will be transported into the world of movies including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Hotel Transylvania, Ghostbusters, The Smurfs and The Hunger Games.

With nine family-friendly restaurants, 15 themed retail outlets and the multi-purpose Hollywood Theatre, seating 1,000 guests, as well as multiple kiosks offering light bites and merchandise throughout the park, visitors have a full range of choices for dining, entertainment and relaxation beyond the rides and attractions. As part of its full-service offering, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai is enhanced with smart technology, smart queuing, shaded walkways and offers full access for visitors with mobility impairments.

MOTIONGATE™ Dubai opened in December 2016 and is part of the amazing experience of Dubai Parks and Resorts, the region’s largest multi-themed family entertainment destination.

Dawn Kirby