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"The 99 Village"

Middle East opens first theme park in Kuwait

eTN Staff Writer  Mar 25, 2009

More than 700 guests were invited to enjoy the Grand Opening of The 99 Village theme park conducted under sunny skies and moderate temperatures that seemed designed to welcome Kuwait's newest family entertainment venue.

In addition to rides, games, and other amusements, The 99 Village includes a stage show telling the story of The 99, while life-sized characters of The 99 superheroes lead tours around the park, providing a unique opportunity for kids to interact with their favorite heroes and learn more about their origins.

The new park is the concept of Teshkeel Media Group (TMG), creators of the world-acclaimed comic series, The 99 and United Entertainment & Tourism Company (UETC). The partnership plans to develop a series of The 99 Village theme parks throughout the GCC.

The 99 Village occupies a unique place in the region's entertainment offerings. With a storyline inspired by the universal values inherent in Islam, The 99 feature characters from around the world. On February 25, Kuwait National Day, Teshkeel introduced its newest members of The 99, Kuwaiti twins whose special power is creativity.

Teshkeel is currently in production of an animated television series for The 99 scheduled for worldwide release. A ninety-minute special premier will be released in December of this year. Teshkeel's partner in the new animated series is Endemol UK, the British-based international television production giant that produces Star Academy, Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Fear Factor, and other megahit international television programs.

Adel Omoor, chairman and CEO of UETC, said: "We are delighted to partner with Teshkeel and add The 99 characters to our entertainment mix. We're sure that the addition of these world-famous superheroes will give our parks extra appeal and provide a memorable entertainment experience for the whole family."

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, founder and CEO of Teshkeel Media Group, said: "We are privileged to be working with UETC to open the world of The 99 to visitors from around the globe. Seeing our characters transformed from two dimensional drawings to a real world setting is not only a dream come true for me, but also an indicator of the tremendous growth potential for The 99 brand."

Plans call for The 99 Village to open a new park every year for the next six years. The planned developments will alternate between indoor and outdoor parks and represent one of the most ambitious expansion plans for entertainment properties in the region.

Omoor added: "We're tremendously excited by Naif's vision for The 99 that he and his team have built. The variety of characters they have created are a theme park builder's dream, and we can't wait to start turning these fantastic creations into reality. The diversity of 'The 99 Universe' will be reflected in the different parks and entertainment settings that we will create together."

In addition to the parks, the joint venture will offer themed merchandise for The 99 that will be available to retail stores throughout the region. UETC will soon preview The 99 Village Store in each of its existing parks. Among the items that will be available are coloring and activity books, apparel, toys, and games plus exclusive items that will only be found in the UETC parks.

Al-Mutawa explained: "The parks and merchandise are the latest step in spreading the story of THE 99 to the widest possible audience. We want everyone to experience our positive message about tolerance, teamwork, and respect that appears in every story of The 99. The 99 theme parks will provide a safe and fun environment for families to be entertained and educated by characters drawn from their culture and values."

Concluded Al-Mutawa: "When I first created The 99, I told people that, 'next Ramadan the world will have new heroes.' These days I tell people, 'The world has new heroes, and today you can go and visit them in Jahra!'"

Middle East opens first theme park in Kuwait
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