Aliens in the desert: Fox announces new theme park in Dubai, set to open in 2018

This morning, 20th Century Fox announced plans to build a theme park in Dubai to rival the world’s best.

Called 20th Century Fox World, the park will open in 2018, according to Deadline, looking to cash in on the tourism boom in the United Arab Emirates. It will be the second park the company will roll out, with a first venture into real-world fantasy opening in Malaysia in 2017 — though that resort will not bear the Fox brand name in its title.

Franchises like The Simpsons, Titanic, Ice Age, Alien, Predator, and Planet of the Apes are all expected to be slated for ride adaptations, among many other possible choices.

It’s certainly risky for the company to step into the ring with Universal and Disney, who are the two most dominant theme park owners in the world. But, as evidenced above, Fox owns a lot of films and TV properties that could make excellent park rides, and they will be the first to build a park in Dubai based around a major studio. As you’d expect, the plans also include a themed shopping area and hotel.

Fox brokered the deal to make the park with the Al Ahli Holding Group, and it provides the film company the option to build up to three other branded resorts outside of Dubai. That’s a big deal, considering the amount of American film industry revenue that is coming from overseas these days, and the agreement could allow Fox to expand their theme park brand into other markets throughout the world as they see fit.

Fox sees the park as a global draw, according to Greg Lombardo, Fox’s Senior Vice President for Global Live and Location Based Entertainment, who said the park, “will provide an ongoing platform for immersive brand engagement with our consumers from around the world, including key international markets of Europe, Russia and China.”

Who knows, in a few years, Ice Age rides might be coming to Moscow.