Dubai Customs launched its new establishment in KidZania at the Dubai Mall on Wednesday 6 April 2011 under the auspices of His Excellency Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Authority, and Director General of Dubai Customs and the presence of Feryal Tawakul, Executive Director Community Affairs and Government Partnership and Mr. Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer at Emaar Retail LLC as well as a number of officials from both sides.

Part of inaugurating Dubai Customs¡¯ establishment at KidZania
Part of inaugurating Dubai Customs¡¯ establishment at KidZania

The customs’ new establishment aims at fostering children’s awareness about the department’s role especially in inspection field. Children will get to know inspectors’ duties and how they work, especially in terms of managing the goods that can be legally brought in to the country.

KidZania is an award winning children’s ‘edutainment’ concept managed by Emaar Retail LLC. The leisure component targets children aged from 4 to 16 years. An 80000 square feet, interactive mini city, KidZania combines play with learning though fun and innovative approach. It involves role playing and the children are encouraged to take on a variety of jobs, from doctor and firefighter to banker and policeman. Kids wear the official uniform and perform the role by mimicking traditionally adult activities.

Children will be able to wear the regular Dubai Customs’ blue inspection uniform and perform the same duty by checking goods and luggage using true-to-type methods of screening that will help the participants to identify prohibited items.

Feryal Tawakul, Executive Director Community Affairs and Government Partnership, who opened the establishment on behalf of HE Director General of Dubai Customs, expressed her joy over the department’s participation at KidZania, the leading edutainment destination in the region saying that the Dubai Customs establishment at the replica city will raise children awareness of hazardous and counterfeit items and understand the role of customs in protecting society and supporting economic development.

The establishment aims also to cement Dubai Custom’s relationship with society and to instill desire and willingness in the new generation to join the customs field.

Tawakul added that the department has other communication initiatives which target the children such as organization of field tours to them to visit the department and its centers and outlets, and the department’s visits to schools; however, having an establishment in KidZania is different and is expected to generate even more success in raising child awareness over the role of the department thanks to the playful atmosphere of the city.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer at Emaar Retail LLC, said, “Leisure attractions are one of the key drivers of the retail industry in Dubai today. Emaar Retail has established its credentials in the leisure sector through strong partnerships and the introduction of innovative leisure experiences, and we look to continuously enhance our offering.

Our partnership with Dubai Customs adds to our growing portfolio of our marketing partners in KidZania who are all leaders in their respective industry. We are honoured to have a Government organization on board, which will further enable our young visitors to understand how the Government services operate, adding a new perspective to their learning.”