Shooting up out of the Arabian Desert like a massive game of Mousetrap is Dubai Parks and Resorts, a new 573-acre theme park and hotel complex 45-minutes' drive south of Downtown Dubai.
A report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2015 suggested Dubai could be in line to steal Florida's crown as the theme park capital of the world. A projection, it seems, which could easily come true. In the last twelve months, no less than five major theme parks have opened in Dubai, including LEGOLAND Dubai, MOTIONGATE and Bollywood Parks in Dubai Parks and Resorts.
Lapita is currently the only hotel in the complex. A luxury Polynesian-themed family resort with two pools, kids' clubs and a swish spa, it's a short walk from all three theme parks. It's also moments from Riverland Dubai, a buzzy waterside dining and entertainment district with over 57 restaurants, licensed bars and entertainment stages.
And it doesn't stop there. LEGOLAND Dubai Resort and Six Flags Dubai are planned to open in 2019, the latter of which will boast three record-breaking rides, including the world's biggest roller coaster. It's all part of Dubai's master plan to attract 20 million tourists by 2020.
LEGOLAND Dubai opened in November 2016. The seventh park for the Danish brand, like the European parks, it's made up of six themed lands. MINILAND, the brand's signature attraction, is housed in a 25-metre-tall air-conditioned dome and features LEGO versions of Dubai's iconic ultra-modern skyline, including the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Largely aimed at 2-12 year olds, most of the rides at the park cater for younger kids. The fastest ride is Dragon Coaster in KINGDOM, the knights and dragons themed land. In LEGO City the whole family can ride pump-powered fire engines in Rescue Academy, or climb aboard a real submarine and glide through an underwater world filled with rainbow-coloured tropical fish, zebra sharks and rays.