Dubailand will feature animatronic dinosaurs

Michael Gottschalk/AFP/Getty Images

Dubailand Entertainment

Dubai's developers have constructed a constellation of modern wonders of the world in the past decade. The city's collection already includes a gold-drenched seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, and sprawling man-made Palm Islands. Dubailand also features historical wonders, fairy tales and dinosaurs.

For visitors who have already seen the world or who enjoy one-stop sightseeing, Dubailand will offer the Falcon City of Wonders. The mega-complex's design features large replicas of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, and the Great Wall of China. True to Dubai's love of functional theming, the monuments will also double as hotels, apartments, offices and stores. In an odd juxtaposition of wonders, the Great Wall of China will encircle an enormous Pharaohs Theme Park rather than protect wealthy residents from marauding Mongolians. The entire 100-acre development will take on the shape of a falcon, its wings made of villas.

As Dubailand transforms the face of the desert with development, it also celebrates idealized Bedouin culture with the Al Sahra Desert Resort. The eco-resort includes traditional buildings, date plantations and camel farms. Tourists fresh from visiting some of the largest malls in the world can slow down their pace and stop by a working souk to buy pottery, carpets and spices. They can also catch "Jumana -- Secret of the Desert," a theatrical extravaganza complete with lasers, water effects and pyrotechnics at the entertainment complex.

Dubailand also employs an Arabian theme for the Al Sahara Kingdom and the City of Arabia. The famous tales of One Thousand and One Nights inspire the theme parks and luxury developments of Al Sahara. And while the City of Arabia also includes the requisite hotels and luxury dwellings, its star attraction will be a pack of animatronic dinosaurs. For those who prefer shopping to Jurassic wonders, the Mall of Arabia, which should become the world's biggest mall, will be located nearby. Its lots will have room for 10,400 cars.

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