Merlin Entertainments has unveiled plans to develop Legoland Dubai – the seventh Legoland park to open worldwide.

The park, which will be operated by Merlin, is being developed in conjunction with Dubai Parks and Resorts, a Meraas holding company.

Scheduled to open in 2016, Legoland Dubai will be the first attraction of its kind in the Middle East.

Located in the port town of Jebel Ali, Legoland Dubai will cover a total of three million square feet and will feature over 15,000 Lego model structures made from more than 60 million Lego bricks.

This includes over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions, all set in six themed areas, some of which are already favourites: Lego City, Adventure, Lego Kingdom, Create, Lego Factory and the ever popular Miniland.

Legoland Dubai will bring the well-known Lego brick to life in a unique interactive world specifically designed for children aged two to 12, encouraging them to stretch their imaginations and their skills as the 'heroes' in a fun day spent together with friends and family.

Commenting on the Middle East development, Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, said: "Dubai is the most important tourist centre in the Middle East and we believe that it is the ideal place for Legoland.

"Not only is the Lego concept already very popular here, but Legoland's unique appeal for families with younger children is universal, making it a must-do visit not just for 'local' visitors from Dubai and neighbouring Middle Eastern states, but also tourists visiting the region from all over the world.

"Indeed, we have no doubt that Legoland Dubai will add a whole new dimension to Dubai's leisure scene."

Raed Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts, added: "We are excited to have one of the world's leading global leisure operators join hands with us to enhance the entertainment and leisure offerings in Dubai and the wider region."

In addition to Legoland Dubai, the first phase of Dubai Parks and Resorts will also comprise Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, a grand entrance plaza and Lapita, a family themed hotel.