The world’s youngest ‘nation’ is born, and it is called ‘KidZania® Dubai.’
At a grand ceremony upholding the proud KidZania® traditions that first originated in Mexico, and now popular among KidZanians around the world, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, grand-daughter of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the Eternal Flame of KidZania®, in the presence of her brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Distinguished guests, children from Raffles International School, KidZania® Ambassadors and Marketing Partners of KidZania® took part in the Foundation Day ceremony attended by His Excellency Francisco Alonso, Consul General of Mexico in Dubai; Mr Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director – UAE, Emaar Properties; Mr Xavier Lopez, Founder & President, KidZania®; and Mr Will Edwards, Governor, KidZania® Dubai.
Children from Raffles School, pledged allegiance by singing KidZania®’s own ‘National Anthem’ while the KidZania® flag was raised alongside that of the UAE and Mexico.
Mr Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Retail, which manages KidZania®, said: ”The Foundation Day ceremony is not only a tribute to the spirit of global solidarity that the edutainment centre promotes but also highlights the contribution of our Marketing Partners in helping develop an authentic learning environment.”
KidZania® is an award-winning edutainment concept, first launched in Mexico in 1999, to provide the ultimate in role-playing experiences for children. KidZania® Dubai opened recently to strong response with thousands of children already visiting the centre.
Mr Xavier Lopez added: “Following the opening of KidZania® in Mexico over a decade ago, it is of great excitement to see the Foundation Day of KidZania® Dubai, the seventh KidZania® around the world, following Santa Fe, Monterrey, Tokyo, Jakarta, Koshien and Lisbon. This is a unique concept that children both enjoy and tremendously benefit from.”
Sprawling over 80,000 sq ft over two levels, KidZania® Dubai is conveniently located in the entertainment precinct of the mall near Reel Cinemas, the 22-screen megaplex, and SEGA Republic, the largest of its kind indoor theme park in the Middle East.
KidZania® is a veritable city with an assortment of establishments covering the entire fabric of a working economy – from banks to hospitals, universities to salons, television stations to music lounges, and race tracks to supermarkets.
The marketing partners such as Emirates, HSBC, ENOC, Waitrose, AC Delco, Procter & Gamble, Lacnor, Emaar Education, Sony Gulf, Sony Professional Solutions, Jotun, Dubai Health Authority, Swiss Arabian, ARY Jewellery & DMCC, DEWA, Jenan (Al Ghurair Foods), Du, McDonald’s, General Motors, Emirates Driving Institute, NAFFCO, Dunkin’ Donuts, Britannia, Pizza Express, HP, Baskin Robbins, Coca-Cola and SWATCH offer real-life professional work environments within KidZania®.
Children can undertake over 70 professions including surgeons, firefighters, chefs, engineers, models, actors, artists, radio hosts, photographers, television hosts, jewelry designers, police detectives and mechanics among others.
They are paid KidZos, the official currency of KidZania® for their ‘services’ which can be used to buy goods and services or even save in their bank account in KidZania®, which provides them with an ATM card too. Children function independently but are guided in each activity by ‘Zoopervisors,’ the trained KidZania® staff.
The Foundation Day activities followed the true KidZania® journey with all guests being provided a Travel Pack containing their Boarding Pass, City Map, Travel Guide and Travel Itinerary for the day. Guests posed for a souvenir photograph at the Independence Fountain, the monument marking their ‘independence’ from adults. The Marketing Partners were given a symbolic key to the city and the artistic team of KidZania® presented a colourful performance and parade.
Tickets to KidZania® are priced at AED 125 for children and AED 90 for adults. Children can spend unlimited time within the zone while parents can rest at a dedicated Parents lounge with Internet and movies, if they so choose. All children are provided Remote Frequency wristbands to monitor their activities, thereby reassuring parents of their safety at all times. KidZania® also has a dedicated area for toddlers, the ‘Urbano’s Residence.’
Emaar Retail also manages Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo featuring over 33,000 aquatic animals and the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel; the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink; the UAE largest megaplex with 22-screens, Reel Cinemas; and the region’s largest SEGA indoor theme park, SEGA Republic – all in The Dubai Mall.