September 2006

Kokoro creates handbuilt giant with animatronic technology

Restless Planet, the DHS 1.1 billion world class dinosaur theme park at City of Arabia have taken delivery of their very first dinosaur. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, giant of the dinosaur world, was constructed in Japan by Kokoro Dreams who are the leaders in animatronics and partners with the Natural History Museum in London. The giant dinosaur is the first of a total of 109 animatronic dinosaurs who will thrill visitors in the eagerly awaited edutainment attraction adjoining the Mall of Arabia which will be open in late 2008.

According to Mustafa Galadari, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, “The Restless Planet provides a visual, audio and tactile experience allowing visitors to experience some of the
exciting things that have gone on in the earth’s history. Extremely realistic, scary but at the same time,
educational, the 500,000 sq ft Restless Planet will most of all be enormous fun – a thrilling ride in a scientifically accurate environment”.

Restless Planet, which will tell in a highly dramatic way the story of the birth of Planet Earth and the rise and fall of the dinosaurs is being developed with the assistance of an international team, led by Jack Rouse Associates and includes the Natural History

Museum of London and Dr Jack Horner, the famous dinosaur expert and adviser to Stephen Spielberg for the Jurassic Park movies, who has more dinosaur species named after him than anyone else. The Restless Planet content is all finalized and will take visitors on an unforgettable journey back in time.

Accessed via Level 2 of the Mall of Arabia, the start of the Restless Planet experience will bring visitors into an 75m-high dome, where they will be assailed by a display that will set the tone for the visit to one most spectacular theme attractions in the world.
In an unmatched experience of light and sound, the birth of the planet Earth will be brought to life as visitors experience everything from the ‘big bang’ to the creation of the mountains and oceans. Moving on, a series of dark rides incorporating animatronic wizadry and computer graphics will bring them into contact with numerous lifelike dinosaurs as they experience the thrill of being part of the Jurassic world.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Kokoro dinosaurs is that they are all created by hand, making each animal individual. Compact servo motors and pneumatic systems beneath the dinosaurs thick skins, which may take more than 6 months to build, propel the beasts smoothly through a range of movements and expressions on a minimum 30 minute loop. Skeletons of electronics, aluminium, steel, plastic and plywood are coated in layers of polyurethane foam and patented silicone skin formula before being treated with special glues, paints and fabrics to render a realistic beast. Additionally, the wonder of animatronic technology now allows them to be programmed to react to a particular colour so visitors may be shocked to find a dinosaur watching and following them as they walk past.

New information is being discovered about dinosaurs all the time and from a scientific point of view the dinosaurs themselves as well as the flora and fauna in the Restless Planet will be as accurate as they possibly can be. Wherever the dinosaurs appear visitors

flock in, fascinated perhaps by the fact that these creatures no longer exist. The Restless Planet will be offering an unmatchable experience bringing these giants back to life in the City of Arabia.


RetailME Awards 2006 to take place in February 2007 under the patronage of Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Dubai: RetailME Awards 2006 will be held on February 19, 2007, at Madinat Jumeirah, Joharah Ballroom, under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy, organisers of the event announced yesterday (September 13th).

The event, one of the highlights of the retail calendar in the Middle East, is held annually to recognise excellence in the sector and the tremendous contribution made to the regional economy. City of Arabia developers, Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, have confirmed their support of the event, returning, for the second time, as the title sponsor of RetailME Awards.

“Following on from the triumph of last year’s awards where 500 people turned out to celebrate the industry success stories, City of Arabia are once again excited to be sponsoring the RetailME Awards 2006, recognising retail excellence. Dubai is supposedly only a third of the way through a huge expansion in its shopping malls and is expected to be home to five of the eight largest malls in the world by 2011, according to London based consultants, Retail International. As the developers of the Mall of Arabia it is important to us to recognise the contribution of regional players and support the industry as it competes on the world, as well as the regional, stage.” commented Mustafa Galadari, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group.

Retailers across the region are eligible to participate in the awards in any of the 15 categories. These include: New Retail Brand of the Year, Business Excellence of the Year, Store Manager of the Year, Grocer of the Year, Customer Service Initiative of the Year, Loyalty Programme of the Year, Rising Star of the Year, Mall of the Year, Online Retailer of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Store Design of the Year, Lifestyle Retailer of the Year, International Retailer of the Year, Local Retailer of the Year and Retail Technology Initiative of the Year.

New with the 2006 awards is the ‘Retail Technology Initiative of the Year’ category, which has been introduced to highlight the importance of technological innovations for the retail sector, said Pierre Pereira, Associate Director of Concept Media, publisher of RetailME. “Over recent years we’ve seen the remarkable growth of this sector – the foundation of new projects that have helped shape the development of local economies.

“RetailME Awards aims to support the advancement of this sector by encouraging the adoption of the best standards and practices to meet and perhaps surpass established global standards,” he said.

Companies competing for the awards will be evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges against an established set of criteria, such as initiatives taken, objectives, evidence of growth, customer feedback, and future plans to establish their eligibility for the awards; other key elements that will be considered are innovation and customer service.

All award submissions need to reach the organisers by Monday January 15 2007. More information on RetailME Awards 2006, is available on the awards website: