Fairytale success story as town firm wins theme park contract

Pictured at The Deluxe Group's factory in Portadown is managing director Colm O'Farrell and Dominic O'Neill from First Trust Bank. INPT46-015
Pictured at The Deluxe Group's factory in Portadown is managing director Colm O'Farrell and Dominic O'Neill from First Trust Bank. INPT46-015
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A Mahon Road-based company has been awarded a contract to create sets, props and special effects for a new, movie theme park in the Middle East.

The Deluxe Group, which employs 91 people, is helping to bring life to five attractions in Dubai, which are based around Hollywood movies including Hotel Transylvania, Ghostbusters, The Green Hornet, Underworld and Zombieland.

Motiongate™ Dubai is part of leisure and entertainment destination resort Dubai Parks and Resorts. It will have 27 themed rides and attractions, 21 of which will be indoor, spread across five zones.

Among the projects the Portadown theming division is working on is a seated ride on the Hotel Transylvania set which will carry guests on a journey though the castle.

Managing director Colm O’Farrell, who started his career back in the early 1990s helping theme Disneyland Paris, said the company was thrilled to be part of motiongateTM Dubai.

And he added that this was another great vote of confidence in the quality of workmanship and productivity from the Northern Ireland workforce following Deluxe’s award-winning creation of giant sets for Disney’s latest attraction in Paris, Ratatouille, last year.

Although Deluxe have an office in Dubai, all the manufacturing will be done at the Portadown site.

The Deluxe Group’s business development manager Richard Hill said, “We have proven that we can export creative excellence to far away shores and I am enthusiastic that the breathtaking scale of Dubai Parks and Resorts’ motiongateTM Dubai development signals the start of a major growth in the leisure and entertainment sector in the Middle East that will be an important market for The Deluxe Group in the next few years.

“The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been a relatively accessible market for Deluxe in terms of construction regulations, freight logistics and frequent direct flights from UK and Ireland to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“With its central location and scale of development including hosting the 2020 World Expo, UAE will certainly grow to rival established Florida as a major tourist entertainment destination.

“We are delighted that Deluxe are involved at the birth of this huge theme park development in Dubai and this reinforces that we have gained a reputation in this themed entertainment sector to produce the thrilling quality of attractions that visitors now expect.”

There are 11,000 workers on the huge construction site at Dubai Parks and Resorts and work is also underway at a Bollywood ParksTM Dubai and LEGOLAND® Dubai.