Inside Dubai’s New Real Madrid Soccer Theme Park
As World Cup soccer in Qatar captivates the globe, Dubai Parks and Resorts announced plans to open the world’s first Real Madrid theme park. Founded in 1902, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol—known best as “Real Madrid”—is a Spanish professional football club based in Spain. The Real Madrid sports franchise and Dubai Holding Entertainment will partner to open a new theme park located in Dubai.
- Watch the social media video announcing the new Real Madrid theme park below.
“It's going to be going to be an independent gate with Real Madrid themed-activities, experiences, games, memorabilia, museums, and obviously attractions,” Dubai Holding Entertainment CEO Fernando Eiroa tells IAAPA News. “This is going to be a very good addition, complementary to all the other attractions and experiences we have in the destination.”
The new park, complete with its own entry gate, will be located between Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood theme parks and is slated to open on an undeveloped plot of land in fourth quarter 2023. The park’s entry gate will face the Riverland Dubai dining and shopping district at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Inside, football (known as soccer in the United States) fans and guests will enjoy audio-visual displays, interactive experiences, playable games, rides, and unique attractions. Eiroa shares exclusively with IAAPA News that many of the attractions will require exercise.
“In this new park, one of the things that we are looking at is that people will need to sweat a little bit to enjoy the experience,” he says. “We are a family-oriented company. We want to attract and offer a healthy, active, and fun experience. And I believe that these values are very similar to Real Madrid. Real Madrid at their core is a sports club. Obviously, they promote active training—which is very important for everybody—but rightfully so for young children and young adults. I think it’s really critical for them to move.”
As a respected leader in the global attractions industry, Eiroa knows the power of professional sports. He previously partnered with the Pittsburgh Steelers to bring the “Steelers Country” attraction to Kennywood when he served as CEO at Parques Reunidos.
“I believe Real Madrid is obviously one of the most well-known brands in the world of sport,” Eiroa says with a smile.
Eiroa sat down with Funworld Managing Editor Scott Fais at IAAPA Expo to answer questions and share more details of the new park.
FAIS: How many rides do you see coming?
EIROA: This is one of the other things that we are in the process of determining now and finalizing the design. Together with our partners with Real Madrid and designers, we are putting together the final design and we will soon disclose them and release the ride count number and the food and beverage offering. That's going to be a very important part of the Real Madrid, obviously, food and beverage, and retail. Same thing with the skill games. These three are very important components of the experience here.
Is there a new roller coaster on the way?
It is true. We cannot disclose that yet, but this is going to be a very amazing roller coaster.
As an active experience, will all the games of skill be themed to football or American soccer?
Everything will be around soccer and football. And obviously, with the history of Real Madrid—which is, in my opinion, the greatest football team in the world … as their fan—so we were very lucky to contract with them.
This new park is slated to open fourth quarter 2023. That's not that far away—one year. Will you be ready?
We have a fantastic team in place. Again, one of the things that I value the most in Dubai Parks and Resorts, and Dubai Holding Entertainment, is the team we have. There is a very competent team, and I'm sure we will be able to do this. I know it's fast—it's a short time—but we are sure that we can deliver.
Summer in Dubai can be warm. Will this be an indoor or outdoor attraction?
We want to combine the indoor attractions with the outdoor. To me—and spending many years in this industry—a theme park is an outdoor activity. And when we think about Dubai, we all know that Dubai summertime is more difficult than wintertime. But something that is very important is wintertime (in Dubai) is one of the best climates in the world. I want people to have the experience, the opportunity to enjoy, to experience the attractions, the roller coaster, the other skill games and other experiences, food and beverage and other experiences outdoors in the good weather.