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WhiteWater, Thinkwell and investor Najibi eye second ACTVENTURE site in UAE

By Alice Davis    30 Jan 2018
Members of ACTVENTURE’s advisory board, including Talal Najibi, executive chair of Najibi Investments, WhiteWater's Geoff and Paul Chutter, and Bradley Sutherland, CEO of ACTVENTURE / Hotel and Rest

ACTVENTURE, the multi-million-dollar leisure and lifestyle mega-destination underway on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, is eyeing a rollout to the United Arab Emirates.

US practice Thinkwell Group designed the plan for the AU$400m (US$305m, €280.7m, £243m) Queensland venture, with Canadian waterpark specialist WhiteWater West working on the waterpark.

Members of ACTVENTURE’s advisory board – including Talal Najibi, executive chair of Najibi Investments, WhiteWater CEO Geoff Chutter, Joe Zenas, CEO of Thinkwell, and Bradley Sutherland, CEO of ACTVENTURE – met in Dubai to discuss the prospect of a second global location.

Bankrolled by SANAD Capital – the Australian offshoot of Dubai-based investment firm Najibi – the first ACTVENTURE destination, located on Steve Irwin Way, is set to start construction in the fourth quarter of this year. The 25-hectare project includes a waterpark, events lawn, retail zone and an outdoor adventure park for kayaking, bungee jumping, flyboarding, zorbing, paddle boarding, as well as plans for a family hotel and a sports precinct for skateboarding, BMX and parkour.

With the UAE expecting its leisure industry to attract an audience of 45 million people by 2021, Sutherland said Dubai was the right place to convene the meeting.

“We decided to convene our Advisory Board meeting here in Dubai to discuss the potential opportunities we face here and to develop strategies to most optimally meet these opportunities,” he said.

WhiteWater’s Chutter said: “The UAE is the leading leisure and entertainment destination in the region with a huge growth potential over the next three years. We believe the market could double when the current projects on the books are complete.

“I believe that ACTVENTURE is a differentiated active lifestyle destination that will cause huge waves in Australia, and bringing the concept to UAE will only add to the country’s diversified sector.”

Najibi added: “Dubai is set to become a world-class leisure and entertainment destination rivalling Orlando, Singapore and Hong Kong, and we want to participate in this growth trajectory.”

A rendering illustrates Australia's ACTVENTURE resort, Queensland / ACTVENTURE
UAE  Dubai  ACTVENTURE  Australia  active lifestyle  waterpark  WhiteWater  Thinkwell  SANAD 
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