Official Press Release
NEW YORK & DUBAI, UAE---United Arab Emirate-based Al Ahli Group and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) announced today a partnership that will bring Marvel's full library of Super Heroes -- including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men, Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer -- to Dubai for a major new theme park destination being developed by AAG. The development is in line with the vision set by HH Shk. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, through his innovative entertainment and hospitality driven expansion projects for Dubai and the UAE.
The Al Ahli Group, under the leadership of Chairman Nasser Ali Khammas and driven by the idea and dedication of CEO Mohamed Khammas, is poised to bring the region's first and only global theme park destination directly to the heart of the Emirates. AAG and Marvel are also in initial stages of discussions about additional projects throughout the greater Pan Arabia region.
AAG has been in discussions for more than two years with the owners of the world's top intellectual properties in the entertainment arena and is extremely proud of its new long-term partnership with the world renowned Marvel brand. The Project will open in 2011 with a direct investment of over $1 billion USD. The creative team, which consists of some of the most spectacular creative minds from around the globe, will be based in Hollywood, Orlando and Dubai throughout the four year development process. New technology and unparalleled visitor experiences will be the hallmark of the theme park, creating a new standard for theme parks around the world.
David Maisel, Chairman of Marvel Studios and a member of the Office of the Chief Executive, Marvel Entertainment, said, "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. 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. We are very pleased to be a part of this exciting initiative and look forward to a successful partnership with Mohamed Khammas and the Al Ahli Group."
Mohamed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Group commented "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, a destination where they can live their childhood fantasies and create new memories for the entire family to cherish and remember. 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.
"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 with Marvel's Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and many other Super Heroes right here in the UAE.
"This partnership is a result of the appreciation and loyalty that Marvel has internationally, and was realized through the dedication and management of the Marvel team led by my friend David Maisel. Without his personal efforts and dedication, it would have been a long time before the world would be able to experience the Marvel Super Heroes in what we aim to be the best entertainment destination in the world. In 2011, Spider-Man and the rest of the Marvel Super Heroes will set their first steps in Dubai."
About the Al Ahli Group
The Al Ahli Group established its first activity in late 1960's and, throughout its 39 years of operation, AAG has become the region's most dynamic, innovative and multi-disciplined business entities. The Al Ahli Group has been instrumental in steering the cement industry throughout the region to unprecedented levels of production and sales. Other industries and services that the Al Ahli Group is involved in range from the largest plastic film manufacturing factory in the region, to printing and publishing, to an extensive transportation division, turnkey construction, engineering products, factories, their partnership with the Dubai Shopping Festival via the first ever Dubai Hot Air Balloon Festival imported from Albuquerque New Mexico to their latest 10 million sq. ft. real estate mix-use development within Dubailand containing the region's first ever factory-outlet stores in a premium mall setting, never before seen boutique hotels, office towers, lifestyle developments and themed restaurants and entertainment promenade with the US$1 billion Dubai Outlet City Project, (phase one mall opens May 1st, 2007).
About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused on utilizing its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. Areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of over sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel's strategy is to leverage its character franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. More information about Marvel can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at www.marvel.com.