Ever since Marvel comics went into a huge re-org into toy merchandising and Hollywood earlier this decade, it has really just been hit or miss for them, especially when it came to the movies. Take crap renditions such as Ben Afleck’s Daredevil to Sam Raimi’s lukewarm Spiderman to the other end of the spectrum where they get it totally right with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. You get the picture. But amidst all that, there really has been an ace hidden all this time. Beyond movies. Beyond toys. Marvel decided to bring the fantasy into real life.
With the acquisition of Marvel Comics by Disney and the foresight into Dubai being the new hub for extravagant entertainment (heck they have a ski slope inside a mall), there is “good news of great joy” with the announcement of the development of Marvel Land Dubai. This is a joint project with UAE’s Al Ahli Group and Marvel Entertainment with a total experience package from Disney’s theme park mavens. Marvel intends to bring in the entire stable of superheroes and their corresponding arch enemies along side the replicas of cities and fictional flora and fauna. What you’ve been reading for the past 40 years in comics is coming to life. You’ll get to see the high rise buildings back-dropping the Bugle, the Four Freedoms Plaza, Stark Industries .. it’s absolute comicgasm.
Marvel Land is but a parcel of the entire Dubai Land attraction:
It will include 17 rides and attractions on a 4,500,000 sq ft (418,000 m2) development. It will also comprise nine retail outlets on an area of 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2). Over 40 food and beverage outlets, including carts merchandising light refreshments, will be developed over 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2). Groundbreaking for the project is expected to be conducted in the first quarter of 2009, with the theme park scheduled to open doors on 1 January, 2012. [DubaiLand Wiki]
For more information, check out Chimera Design. This is the firm that apparently creates the experiential flavor for the theme park and rides.
With the recent news about Dubai’s USD $60 billion debt and its spillover effects to the rest of the world, we can only hope for the preservation of geek culture in places such as this. It’s truly happening. Geeks are now mainstream.