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KidZania® hosts over 1,100 school visits and more than 120,000 students on value-added educational tours

Dubai, UAE; March 12, 2012: KidZania®, the award-winning children’s ‘edutainment’ destination in The Dubai Mall managed by Emaar Retail LLC, has underlined its credentials as a preferred venue for educational tours by schools in the Middle East region.

Dubai, UAE; March 12, 2012: KidZania®, the award-winning children’s ‘edutainment’ destination in The Dubai Mall managed by Emaar Retail LLC, has underlined its credentials as a preferred venue for educational tours by schools in the Middle East region.

Approved by the UAE Ministry of Education to host educational site tours as part of the curriculum, KidZania® has, to date, hosted over 1,100 school visits and more than 120,000 students, offering them unique insights into various professions.

The schools that have undertaken the tours include those from across the UAE as well as eight educational institutions and over 225 students from Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Nigeria, highlighting the increasing popularity of KidZania® as a vocational training destination for institutions across the region.

Ric Fearnett, Mayor, KidZania Dubai said: “KidZania® aims to promote the physical and intellectual growth of children by providing them the unprecedented experience of professional role-plays. By being part of a mini-city, built immaculately to resemble a real city and featuring leading and established business houses, the children’s edutainment centre provides unmatched insights on various professions by executing tasks that professionals undertake in real life. This in turn enables the students to enhance their creativity, understand better about how the real world of various professions operate and also acquire specialised skills, especially a greater awareness of money transactions and how economy functions.”

Fearnett added: “The advantage offered by KidZania® is that children gain hands-on and relevant knowledge without realising that they are being part of an educational experience, which is a great way to learn. The various activities at KidZania® can be linked to different school subjects, which make it ideal for schools to enhance the overall educational experience they provide to the students. Several school activities can be derived from a visit to the centre, including homework, research projects, and exhibition of works.”

"KidZania® is one of the favourite destinations of our students for educational visits. It inspires them, especially with the large number of professional roles they can perform. The children's city has a unique educational value as it gives hands-on insights for students, and enables them to live their dream careers. I have found that every visit to KidZania® stimulates our students and also helps them to sharpen their learning skills," said Ms. Shumaila Haris Khan from Al Khaleej National School, Dubai.

KidZania® provides a safe, unique and very realistic educational environment that allows kids to do what comes naturally to them: role-playing by mimicking traditionally “adult” activities. As in the real world, children perform “jobs” and are either paid for their work (as a firefighter, police detective or journalist for example) or pay to shop or be entertained.

Spread over 80,000 sq ft the interactive mini-city has offices, university, fire station, race track, radio station, pizzeria, hospital, bank, theatre and ATM machines, among others, all scaled down to a smaller, child-friendly size. Children dress up in real-life uniforms and perform realistic professional tasks in a fun and meaningful way. Trained “Zupervisors” instruct the children on their chosen specific task.

With over 80 professions to choose from, visiting students have a wide and unprecedented variety of learning experiences awaiting them at KidZania®. “These professions also reflect the change that is happening in the business environment today,” explained Fearnett. “Earlier, schools had very limited options to familiarise the students with real life work experience, and the educational tours were largely confined to individual site visits. With KidZania® they can offer their students a whole spectrum of professional experiences all under one roof.”

The educational tour of KidZania® also offers children the opportunity to make an informed decision about their potential career choice. By trying out their dream profession, they get a hands-on feeling of the job, and can opt for other professions, thus assisting them to find their true calling.

The 80-plus roles to choose from include that of surgeons, firefighters, chefs, engineers, models, actors, artists, radio hosts, photographers, television hosts, jewellery designers and mechanics among others, making each visit to KidZania® a new and exciting experience for children.

The KidZania® experience begins at an airport style ‘check-in’ counter, where children are issued their boarding pass, a city map and a cheque for 50 kidZos, the official currency of KidZania®. The currency can be used for various transactions or saved in a bank, thus instilling in the children the value of proper money management.

Fearnett of KidZania® explained: “The children’s city helps develop communication and intellectual growth of the children, enhances their agility and physical skills and sharpens evaluation and measurement skills. The different role-plays also boost their creative and artistic skills apart from promoting independence and interactivity.”

Demonstrating its commitment to promoting education, the staff of KidZania® recently took part in the 3km ‘Walk for Education,’ an initiative by Dubai Cares to support of millions of children around the world who face tremendous obstacles in their pursuit of education or who are altogether unable to go to school.

KidZania® Dubai clinched the Image Retail ME Award as ‘Most Admired Retailer of the Year – Leisure & Entertainment’ and won the award for ‘Innovation in Retail’ at the Retail City Awards 2011. It was ‘Highly Commended’ at the Global Retail & Leisure International (RLI) Awards in the ‘Most Innovative Retail and Leisure Concept of the Year Award’ category and was also a finalist at the Cityscape Awards for Architecture 2011 in the ‘Leisure – Built’ category.

The premium provider of leisure and entertainment choices, Emaar Retail LLC also manages a strong roster of exclusive leisure and retail concepts at The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, including Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo featuring over 33,000 aquatic animals and the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel; the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink; the region’s largest SEGA indoor theme park, SEGA Republic; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas.

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