Bugs Bunny and Batman Are Getting Their Own Theme Park

April 19, 2016, 12:28 PM UTC
Grand Opening Of The Chuck Jones Experience At Circus Circus
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 19: A Bugs Bunny character is displayed at the grand opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at the Circus Circus Hotel-Casino January 19, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for The Chuck Jones Experience)
Ethan Miller — Getty Images

An Abu Dhabi firm will build a $1 billion theme park with U.S. entertainment company Warner Bros. in the emirate, Miral Asset Management said on Tuesday, competing for tourist dollars with neighbouring Dubai.

Miral said Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi would open in 2018, featuring a Warner Bros.-branded hotel as well as rides linked to the U.S. company’s comic and cartoon characters, such as Batman and Bugs Bunny.

Miral said it expected to invest $1 billion in the park while Warner Bros., a Time Warner Inc (TWX) company, would provide expertise.

Yas Island, the site of the project, already features a Formula 1 racetrack, a Ferrari-branded theme park and a water park. It drew 25 million visitors last year and the Warner Bros. project will lift that to 30 million, the companies said.

Miral Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak is also chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and chief executive of Aldar Properties, a state-linked real estate development company.

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are eager to boost foreign tourist arrivals as oil prices slump, causing an economic slowdown in the region.

Seventy kilometres (45 miles) down the road from Yas Island, a huge theme park complex is being built by Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is part of property developer Meraas Holding, owned by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

On Tuesday Dubai Parks and Resorts announced details of a 1.68 billion dirham ($457 million) rights issue to finance development of a Six Flags-branded theme park.