Motiongate is the star attraction at Dubai Parks and Resorts. The Hollywood-inspired theme park opened at the end of 2016 and is underwritten by film studios DreamWorks, Columbia Pictures, and Lionsgate.
The park features around 30 rides and attractions spread around 5 unique zones.
Visitors enter the park though a huge movie reel gate and enter Studio Central. The first zone is styled like a 1950s New York street and offers shopping and dining options.
A central hub with an impressive fountain leads to the other 4 zones; DreamWorks, Lionsgate, Columbia Pictures, and Smurfs Village.
DreamWorks is a huge, climate-controlled, indoor area. It is best appreciated during summer daytimes when the temperature soars. It contains four areas based around the animated movies Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and Madagascar.
Rides here boast impressive entrances and theming.
The Lionsgate area is home to the only rides in the world inspired by The Hunger Games. There’s also a Step Up stage show.
The Columbia Pictures area boasts family-friendly rides based on films such as Hotel Transylvania, Underworld, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Ghostbusters.
This brightly coloured Smurfs-themed area has attractions catering to young children.
List of Rides
Motiongate offers a good mix of rides for children and adults.
- Camp Viking (DreamWorks) - Play area for children.
- Capitol Bullet Train (Lionsgate) – The Mack Rides launch coaster is main ride at the Lionsgate section of the park. Riders are transported from District 12 to the Capitol and breakneck speed. The half-pipe roller coaster features a zero gravity roll and 2 inversions. One of the must-do rides at Motiongate.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - River Expedition (Columbia Pictures) – Rapid river ride.
- Dragon Gliders (DreamWorks) – Mack Rides inverted powered coaster. Dark ride themed around the film How to Train Your Dragon. Good mix of animatronics and projections. Suspended from the ceiling of DreamWorks.
- Flint's Imagination Lab (Columbia Pictures) – Indoor children’s play area based on the film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
- Ghostbusters: Battle for New York (Columbia Pictures) – Interactive trackless dark ride. Riders shoot the ghosts with proton packs.
- Hotel Transylvania (Columbia Pictures) – Dark ride housed in a spooky castle.
- Kung Fu Panda: Unstoppable Awesomeness (DreamWorks) – State-of-the-art 4D dark simulator ride on a motion platform. Travel along wild rivers and down waterfalls.
- Kung Fu Panda Academy (DreamWorks) – Interactive stage show where the audience can learn the Chinese martial art of kung fu.
- Madagascar Mad Pursuit! (DreamWorks) – Fast indoor Gerstlauer roller coaster themed around the Madagascar 3 film. Riders try to escape animal control officer Captain Chantel DuBois.
- Melman-Go-Round (DreamWorks) – Carousel themed around the Madagascar movie.
- Mr. Ping's Noodle Fling (DreamWorks) – Spinning cup style ride (in noodle bowls).
- Panem Aerial Tour (Lionsgate) – 4D hovercraft motion simulator ride based on The Hunger Games movies. Riders take an aerial tour of Panem and the landmarks of the Capitol.
- Penguin Air (DreamWorks) – Spinning ride for children.
- Shrek's Merry Fairy Tale Journey (DreamWorks) – Trackless dark ride featuring animatronics. Tells the story of how Shrek and Princess Fiona met and fell in love.
- Smurfberry Factory (Smurfs Village) – Soft play area filled with foam Smurfberries.
- Smurfs Studios Tour (Smurfs Village) – Trackless dark ride taking guests behind the scenes of a Smurfs film set.
- Smurfs Village Playhouse (Smurfs Village) – Smurf-based theatrical show. Animated Smurfs interact with the audience.
- Smurf Village Express (Smurfs Village) – Gerstlauer Smurf-inspired roller coaster. Suitable for younger children.
- Step Up Dubai, All In! (Lionsgate) – Music and dance show inspired by the Step Up movies.
- Swamp Celebration (DreamWorks) – Riders sit in a spinning, hollowed-out log.
- The Green Hornet: High Speed Chase (Columbia Pictures) – Gerstlauer bobsled roller coaster with drops and sharp turns.
- The Swinging Viking (DreamWorks) – Swing ship ride based around How to Train Your Dragon.
- Underworld 4D (Columbia Pictures) – 4D multi-sensory cinema featuring the war between the Lycans and the Vampires. Special effects include water sprays, air blasts, and leg ticklers.
- Woodland Play Park (Smurfs Village) – Children’s play area with rope bridges, tunnel slides etc.
- Zombieland Blast Off (Columbia Pictures) – Drop tower ride. Based on the Zombieland movie.
Wait times are clearly displayed at ride entrances. Rides also boast free lockers.
Restaurants and cafes at Motiongate include:
- Baby Brent's Luncheonette (Columbia Pictures) – Diner style restaurant offering an Italian buffet (pizza, pasta, salads etc.). Themed around Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
- Dragon Flame Grill (DreamWorks) – Arabic (Kebabs, shawarma, tabbouleh etc.) Themed around How to Train Your Dragon.
- Hotel Beastro (Columbia Pictures) – Offers burgers, hotdogs, fried chicken etc. Themed around Hotel Transylvania movie.
- King Julien’s Side Show Cafe (DreamWorks) – Pizzas, chicken, salads etc.
- Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop (DreamWorks) – Chinese/Asian restaurant. Themed around Kung Fu Panda.
- Supporting Rolls Bakery (Studio Central) – Sandwiches, pastries etc.
- The Candy Apple (DreamWorks) – Full-serviced restaurant themed around Shrek.
- Very Smurfy Café (Smurfs Village)
Food and drink purchased outside Motiongate is not permitted (except infant/special dietary foods).
Souvenir and gift shops include:
- Big Top Treasures (DreamWorks) – Madagascar gifts and souvenirs.
- Creature Comforts (Columbia Pictures)
- Daily Variety Store (Studio Central) – Themed merchandise.
- Dragon Warrior Shrine and Gift Shop (DreamWorks) – Kung Fu Panda souvenirs.
- DreamWorks Store (DreamWorks) – Souvenirs inspired by DreamWorks’ movies.
- Ghostly Gifts (Columbia Pictures) – Ghostbusters gifts and souvenirs.
- Gifts to Die For (Columbia Pictures) – Halloween and Underworld gifts.
- Hiccup’s Workshop (DreamWorks)
- Lens Flair (Studio Central) – Pick up on-ride photos.
- Panem Supply Co. (Lionsgate) – Merchandise related to The Hunger Games films.
- Shrek Shack (DreamWorks) – Shrek gifts and souvenirs.
- Silver Screen Sundries (Studio Central) – Hollywood and movie related merchandise.
- Smurfs Studios Store (Smurfs Village) – Smurfs merchandise.
- Studio Store (Columbia Pictures)
- Sweet Sweet Nothings (Studio Central) – Confectionery.
- Tim and Son’s Bait Shop (Columbia Pictures) – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs souvenirs.
Motiongate is open every day of the year.
At the time of writing () Dubai Parks and Resorts is closed due to coronavirus outbreak.
Visit on a weekday to avoid queues. At the time of writing most visitors to the park are UAE/Dubai residents. Note that the weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday.
In the summer months the daytime temperature is high. Experience the indoor rides at DreamWorks to avoid the heat. Take in the rest of the park after sunset.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. Multi-park tickets offer good savings.
QFast passes are an add-on that allow visitors to skip the lines on selected rides. They may be worth purchasing at weekends and public holidays.
Entrance to Motiongate is free for small children (aged 3 and under).
Annual passes are good value for UAE residents intending to visit regularly.
Motiongate is located in the Jebel Ali area of Dubai, close to the border with Abu Dhabi.
There is no Dubai Metro station nearby. The closest is UAE Exchange; the western terminus of the Red Line. It is approximately 7 miles from the park. Visitors wishing to save a little money on taxi fares, could take a train to UAE Exchange and complete the journey by taxi.
Bus service DPR1 goes directly to Motiongate/Dubai Parks and Resorts. It departs from the Ibn Battuta Bus Station. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes.
There are over 10,000 free car parking spaces at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Paid valet parking is available.
Tourist attractions and things to do near Motiongate include:
- Riverland (0.3 miles) - Restaurant and shopping destination at Dubai Parks and Resorts.
- Bollywood Parks (0.4 miles) - Bollywood-inspired theme park at Dubai Parks and Resorts.
- LEGOLAND Dubai (0.5 miles) - LEGO theme park at Dubai Parks and Resorts.
- LEGOLAND Water Park (0.5 miles) - Water park for families with young children.
Places to shop near Motiongate include:
- The Outlet Village (0.8 miles) - Shopping mall in Jebel Ali offering designer goods at discounted prices.
Hotels near Motiongate include:
- Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection (0.4 miles)
Map showing location of Motiongate.
Click here for a detailed map showing all points of interest.
United Arab Emirates
Photo Credit: Yurii Onyshchenko/Shutterstock