Ticket to Bollywood
A tram ferries visitors from theparking to the main gate of thepark, which bears a resemblance tothe Gateway of India
Bollywood Parks Dubai pays homage to the Mumbai film industry's biggest films and stars
By Deepa Narwani
Published: Mon 14 Aug 2017, 6:00 PM
Last updated: Mon 14 Aug 2017, 8:00 PM
The world's first ever Bollywood themed park opened in Dubai in November last year and the city's Bollywood obsessed fans couldn't have been happier! Part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts, Bollywood Parks Dubai is a celebration of the Mumbai film industry and pays homage to its biggest films and stars. It has five zones inspired by blockbusters and offers live entertainment, stage shows and thrilling cinematic rides. Also, performers break out in song and dance throughout the park mesmerising visitors.
The park has already had a string of high-profile visits with Shah Rukh Khan promoting his film Raees at there earlier this year. Akshay Kumar also stopped by while on a promotional spree for his film Jolly L.L.B. 2. Plus, Hrithik Roshan was spotted enjoying the rides with his children Hrehaan and Hridhaan.
As a self-confessed Bollywood addict, I recently decided to brave the heat and made my way down to the park. It opens at 3pm in the summer until 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends, and the summer offer tickets cost Dh85. Thankfully there were trams to take visitors from the parking lot to the main gate. Further, the park was dotted with fans and air conditioners, making it comfortable to explore in the summer.
Brian Machamer, Vice President - Theme Park Operations, Dubai Parks and Resorts shares: "The feedback that we have received for the entire park has been very strong since we opened late last year. The evening and the night-time shows and street shows are a big hit at the Bollywood Parks Dubai and have been very well received. We get a lot of visitors who haven't visited India and they see the park as an opportunity to experience Bollywood while in Dubai."
On the way to the entrance, there are a number of things to admire such as the restaurant called Bol Gappe as well as the striking gate of the park itself that made for some great snaps! Upon entering, I was in awe of the spectacular colours of the Jumbo Café and the opulence of the Rajmahal. Peppy songs from the 90s as well as the current chartbusters were playing all throughout the park and were the perfect companion for soaking in all things Bollywood.
From a Mumbai train station, to a poster of Madhuri Dixit-Nene from Hum Aapke Hain Kaun in her iconic blue saree, and a Chulbul Moong Phali stand with Salman Khan's Dabangg avatar, the park had lots of nostalgia all around. It also hosts meet and greets with popular characters such as Jadoo and Chulbul Pandey as well as Shah Rukh Khan's doppelgänger. Other highlights include the Hall of Heroes that features the Krrish and Ra.One rides as well as the Heroes Vault souvenir shop.
One of the unique features of the park is that all the rides have a story and theme behind them. Some of the exciting rides include the spine-tingling Lagaan: Thrill of Victory; a simulator based ride that takes you on a rollercoaster journey from the point of view of a moving cricket ball. Another popular one is Krrish: Hero's Flight, a one-of-a-kind flying theatre featuring India's first superhero. "Tying the films and the characters into the rides helps in enhancing the experience," adds Machamer.
From a live entertainment perspective, the park hosts Jaan-e-Jigar, a Broadway style resident Bollywood show that is held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Machamer says, "We are looking at new seasonal shows that can be launched during certain festive periods as well as new performances."
With its many different attractions, a visit to Bollywood Parks Dubai was definitely a refreshing take on a theme park that comes to life with its many colours and lively music and dance.
RIOT OF COLOURS: The stunning entrance to the Jumbo Café that offers a variety of refreshments.
JEWEL IN THE CROWN: Inspired from the royalpalaces of India, the Rajmahal Theatre creates agorgeous backdrop for live shows and is home toJaan-e-Jigar.
ACTION-PACKED: Sholay: The Hunt for Gabbar Singh is a 3D interactive ride that arms you with laser guns to shoot dacoits led by the villainous Gabbar Singh.
DAZZLING SPECTACLE: Inside the Bollywood Parks dance off held at Rajmahal Theatre.