Dubai developer Union Properties PJSC (UPP) has reached a settlement with Dubailand and Emirates NBD to allow it to go ahead with repurposing parts of its Motor City master plan, including its theme park land. 

The developer said it had reached the settlement after ‘a long and constructive journey’ with Dubailand, which is owned by a Dubai Holding subsidiary, as well as Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD.

UPP will pay AED 400 million ($109 million) in instalments over three years, and Dubailand will provide a no objection certificate (NOC) which will allow UPP to repurpose the land to develop additional residential properties and gross floor area (GFA). 

A settlement agreement with Emirates NBD will see it pay a further AED 850 million in instalments in nine months. 

The developer said in March 2023 that it was ‘still negotiating’ with the bank regarding ‘legacy debts’ according to a Gulf News report. 

Theme parks in Dubai 

Previously, Union Properties was to develop a Formula One racing theme park, but initially scrapped the plan in 2009, only to announce in bourse filings that it had revived the project in 2016. 

The park never came to fruition, in a city that is now home to several theme parks. The indoor IMG Worlds of Adventureand Dubai Parks and Resorts both opened in 2016.

Dubai Parks and Resorts was operated by DXB Entertainments (DXBE) and was listed on DFM until 2021, when it was taken private by state-backed Meraas. 

Abu Dhabi’s motor racing themed park FerrariWorld opened in 2010. 

UPP announced a profit of AED 19.7 million in the third quarter of 2023, following a troubled period in which the company’s then chairman and three other board members were dismissed due to irregularities around the sale of a property, but later agreed to pay a settlement to UPP.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)