Madame Tussauds was acquired by state-owned Dubai International Capital (DIC) in 2005. Tussauds group annually attracts 14 million visitors and is one of the major draw in Europe. Nick Varney, the CEO of Merlin Entertainment Group, which runs Madame Tussauds told the magazine Leisure Manager that the new facility in Dubailand will include well-known regional figures as well as global names. The news follows Merlin's partnership with Dubailand master developer Tatweer to bring its Legoland theme park brand to the tourism mega-project.
Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, acquired the Tussauds theme park group, which includes Alton Towers and Thorpe Park as well as the Madame Tussauds waxwork galleries, for 800 million pounds in 2005.
The acquisition was also part of Sheikh Mohammed's programme to diversify state assets, and comes three months after a one billion dollar investment in US carmaker DaimlerChrysler.
DIC plans to make 60 per cent of future investments in North America and Europe, with the remainder in the West Asia and Asia.
Tussauds Group attractions, which includes Chessington World of Adventures, Madame Tussauds and Heide Park in north Germany, draws in 14 million visitors a year, making it Europe's largest theme park group.