Timbalaya signs first franchise with Kuwaiti deal
Project will cost around £4m and open next year
Timbalaya, the story-led IP and outdoor natural play attraction specialist, has signed its first franchise deal, with the Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) in Kuwait.
Work is expected to begin in 2018 to build the mid-size Timbalaya attraction, with the circa £4 million project slated for a late 2019 or early 2020 opening. Conversations with some European sites are also quite far advanced and another announcement is expected in early 2018.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be heading to Kuwait. The healthy development of children is at the very heart of Timbalaya and to have found a likeminded company in TEC is exciting for all of us.
Sylvia Matiko, Timbalaya’s “Guardian of the Locket”, said: “We’re excited to see the very first Timbalaya going to Kuwait. We have had several groups interested in building a Timbalaya attraction, but TEC have just moved faster and as a result Kuwait will be the first to enjoy this incredible experience.”
Timbalaya is a children’s adventure story based around the village of Wishing – a place where dreams are made, wishes come true and imaginative play is created through the escapades of three friends and characters such as Buzzbirds, the Borroble Bear and Spangle Stargazer. The attraction brings the scenes of the book to life with distinctive features such as the view from Spangle Stargazer’s Tower, kinetic structures, riddles and games dotted around the park, water play, parades and performances.
Established in 1976, the Kuwait-based TEC is the chief authority responsible for the regulation, development, and promotion of the tourism, entertainment and recreation sectors in Kuwait.
“As part of our development and expansion plans at TEC, we are always looking to partner with experts from around the globe to bring the people of Kuwait exciting and innovative entertainment experiences,” said Abdul Wahab Al-Marzouq, CEO of TEC. “Timbalaya is a fresh idea and new concept that we felt would be a perfect fit, and would give us a completely new experience that we have not seen before in this region.”
Matiko added: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be heading to Kuwait. The healthy development of children is at the very heart of Timbalaya and to have found a likeminded company in TEC is exciting for all of us. They understand the benefits of imaginative and physical outdoor play to the wellbeing of our children.
Each attraction is a bespoke design to fit into the landscape and its environment.
“There’s no cookie cutter approach to Timbalaya” said Timbalaya’s “Guardian of the Stargazers” Nick Farmer. “The Kuwait attraction will without doubt be different to the designs being considered in Europe at the moment. The landscape is a unique mix of desert, palm trees and arid region greenery, and of course Kuwait enjoys almost 500km of coastline along the Arabian Gulf, which gives it a very particular feel. This together with the challenges of a climate that can become very hot in the summer, although not all year, will certainly keep our design team busy over the coming months. But what a lovely project to have – we can’t wait to get started.”