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MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Aurecon is responsible for all the engineering services at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, the region’s largest integrated theme park destination


When Dubai Parks and Resorts envisaged the $1 billion project MOTIONGATE™ Dubai theme park, they knew they would have to draw upon the best designers, animators, engineers and specialists. Their goal was to create a theme park that would enamour, inspire and entertain visitors in ways that they haven’t experienced before.

GhostbustersMOTIONGATE™ Dubai is a Hollywood-inspired theme park and part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, the region’s largest integrated theme park destination. At MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, guests can immerse themselves in cinematic adventure with 27 key rides and attractions including five roller coasters, multi-media dark rides, interactive play labs and media-based theatre shows. Inspired by 13 Hollywood films from DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures Studios and Lionsgate such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Ghostbusters (image on the right), the Smurfs and The Hunger Games, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai also features a full program of live entertainment including live stage shows and character meet and greets.

In 2014, Gensler, the global design firm, engaged Aurecon for all of the engineering services for the theme park. These included civil engineering; infrastructure; mechanical engineering; electrical engineering; plumbing; fire protection and detection; information and communication technologies (ICT); structures and facade services. From the conceptualisation phase, Aurecon recognised the need for an agile and mobile, integrated design team, with niche expertise, to work alongside the architect.

"The MOTIONGATE™ Dubai project catapulted Aurecon and the client into a magical 3D world of storytelling and entertainment. Right from the start of the process our team recognised that to bring this project to life we would need to draw on all of Aurecon’s multidisciplinary resources from around the globe and harness their skills in design, innovation and imagination. The incredible willingness of everyone to learn, share knowledge and grow, both personally and professionally, led to the huge success of this project. If I had to pick a global team for the same job, I would choose all the same people again,” – Dr Andy Davids, Design Director, Tall Buildings, Aurecon.

Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda

In order to create experiences that are technically sound while meeting the design criteria of the show artists and developers, Aurecon collaborated with an array of experts using Revit models to first outlay the foundations and then developed the structure, facades, electrical, ICT, mechanical, fire and plumbing services of the buildings.

The technically challenging project required the use of 3D modelling and Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology, which enabled the design team to streamline construction, saving the client money. These technologies also allowed Aurecon to confidently create unique rides featuring the characters from the Smurfs, Madagascar, Hunger Games, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon. The 3D modelling simplified this large-scale project and became the essential tool and singular language of the global design team’s collaboration and communications.

Smurfs Village Express Madagascar Mad Pursuit
The Smurfs Village Express and Madagascar Mad Pursuit

This truly creative project is poised to become one of the most exciting new entertainment destinations in the world. Visitors to MOTIONGATE™ Dubai will be able to experience the thrills, dreams, fantasies and excitement that a world-class, magical theme park has to offer.

To date, the project has won the following awards:

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Middle East Awards 2017 - Winner: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Project of the Year
  • Construction Week Awards 2017 - Highly Commended: Commercial Project of the Year
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